The Fundamentals Of 3D Printing
3.7 (31 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,490 students enrolled

The Fundamentals Of 3D Printing

A comprehensive guide to getting started with a 3D printer including how to design, share and monetize your first print.
3.7 (31 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,490 students enrolled
Created by Jeffrey Ito
Last updated 1/2016
English [Auto]
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 11 mins on-demand audio
  • 2 articles
  • 10 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Learn the fundamentals of 3D printing including the history, methods, kinds of 3D printers, how to design your own models and share them around the world
  • Create their own 3D models using CAD software
  • Explore new business models that take advantage of 3D printing and the customizability aspect
  • How to monetize your 3D Designs
  • Students should be prepared to learn about a technology that may not be fully developed and know that the potential of 3D printing is different from today's reality
  • A willingness to learn about 3D printing is encouraged
  • A computer to explore TinkerCAD

Have you ever wanted to learn how to use a 3D printer?

Imagine.. one day you design a digital model of an action figure to be 3D printed. You share it online and next thing you know thousands of people are downloading it and printing it out themselves! Your digital creation became a physical reality for legions.

This is the power of 3D printing and just one of the examples of its amazing potential.

Wouldn't it be awesome to show off vibrant prints you made yourself to your friends? There are online communities where people share and rate 3D designs. But it's even possible to monetize your 3D designs as well on 3D printing design marketplaces.

This course The Fundamentals Of 3D Printing includes the basic terms and definitions of 3D printing along with the history of the technology. One will be able to learn how to use a 3D printer and learn its potential future applications. There are also case studies on successful businesses already using 3D printing for customization. We take you through the creation of your own 3D model and walk you through 3 of the most popular 3D printing services to print, sell and share your design.

You will learn:

  • The key 3D printing methods and technologies.
  • Proficiency in 3D design with TinkerCAD.
  • Where you can not only share but also sell your designs in various 3D marketplaces.
  • Important 3D printing stocks to invest in.
  • Know and identify the important parts of a 3D printer.
  • The materials which can be used for printing.
  • Identify major 3D printer manufacturers and services.
  • Discover 3D printing customization as a service through case studies including: Spuni, Shapify, Feetz, Sols and Protos Eyewear.
  • How to effectively use 3D Hubs, Shapeways and Thingiverse.
  • Different industries that are ripe for disruption with 3D printing.
  • Future prospects to start a 3D printing business.
  • The potential global impact of the technology.
  • Be able to teach others about the fundamentals of 3D printing.
Who this course is for:
  • Makers, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Engineers, Architects, Artists and Explorers should all consider taking this course
  • Those not interested in 3D printing should avoid this course
Course content
Expand all 21 lectures 02:04:40
+ Introduction
2 lectures 02:27

Welcome to the course!

Course Overview
+ Getting To Know 3D Printing
4 lectures 30:57
  • Also known as Desktop Manufacturing or Additive Manufacturing
  • A 3D Printer is a powerful creation tool.
  • Contrasts from typical manufacturing processes which have typically been subtractive
  • A prototyping process whereby a real object is created from a 3D design file which is created with a 3D modeling program or scanner.
  • As it is sent to the printer, the software slices the design into thousands of horizontal layers. These layers of material are then printed successively until your physical object is created.
Preview 12:16
  • STL - Standard Tessellation Language - the
  • SLA - Stereolithography is the original process of making three-dimensional objects from a digital file (.stl).
  • FDM - Fused Deposition Modeling
  • SLS - Selective Laser Sintering
  • CLIP - Continuous Liquid Interface Production - Carbon3D (bought by Google)
    • A breakthrough technology that grows parts instead of printing them layer by layer.
    • Allows businesses to produce commercial quality parts at game-changing speeds, creating a clear path to 3D manufacturing
Methods & Key Technologies

Materials Used In 3D printing

  • Plastics
    • FDM - Fused Deposition Modeling is the most common process for 3D printing of plastics
      • ABS - widely used on entry level FDM 3D printers. Very popular since it can be bought from a variety of non-proprietary sources. ABS is most commonly used as the material for LEGO bricks
      • PLA - biodegradable plastic material that has become popular for 3D printers. PLA is less likely to warp but it is not as durable or flexible when compared to ABS
  • Metals - Great prospects for the jewelry industry
    • Aluminum
    • Cobalt
    • Stainless Steel
    • Gold
    • Silver
    • Titanium
  • Ceramics
    • Very brittle
    • Still needs to go through the firing and blazing process
  • Bio Materials
    • Living tissue
    • Organs
    • Blood
    • Skin cells
  • Food
    • Chocolate
    • Sugar
    • Pastries

Timeline of 3D Printing

  • 1454 - Johannes Gutenberg introduces the printing press
  • 1951 - Inkjet Printing
  • 1969 - Laser Printing
  • 1984 - Invention of stereolithography. First 3D Printer.
  • 1986 - Charles Hull was issued the first patent for a stereolithography apparatus (SLA)
  • 1992 - The first SLA machine is produced by 3D Systems
  • 2002 - Scientists engineer a functioning 3D printed kidney
  • 2006 - First self-replicating 3D printer is developed (RepRap)
  • 2008 - Shapeways print-on-demand service is launched
  • 2008 - First person to walk on a 3D printed prosthetic leg
  • 2009 - Organovo bio-prints the first blood vessel
  • 2010 - Urbee the first 3D printed car is created and presented
  • 2012 - The first 3D printed prosthetic jaw is implemented
  • 2013 - Stratasys acquires Makerbot
  • 2014 - Amazon launches their 3D printing store
  • 2015 - Google acquires Carbon3D
3D Printing Quiz #1
6 questions
+ 3D Printing Uncovered
7 lectures 32:48

A video highlighting the important components of a 3D prints.

Major parts of a 3D printer:

  • Filament Spool
  • Motor
  • Extruder/Hot End
  • Cooling Fan
  • Print Bed
Getting To Know Your 3D Printer
  • Where To Get A 3D Printer
    • Build
      • RepRap
    • Purchase
      • Amazon
      • Staples
      • Best Buy
      • Fry's Electronics
Where To Get A 3D Printer

3D Printer Manufacturers

  • M3D
  • Makerbot
  • Ultimaker
  • Formlabs
  • Airwolf 3D
  • Deezmaker
  • Hyrel 3D
  • Solidoodle
  • XYZPrinting
3D Printer Manufacturers (+ 3D Printers)

3D Printing Stocks

  • Stratasys
  • 3D Systems
  • ExOne
  • Arcam
  • Voxeljet
  • Materialise
  • Organovo
  • Autodesk
  • Hewlett-Packard
3D Printing Stocks

Current Applications of 3D Printing

  • Sols
  • Feetz
  • Spuni
  • Protos Eyewear
  • Shapify
  • Twinkind
  • You Kick Ass
Customization With 3D Printing
  • Medical & Dental Industries
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Jewelry
  • Art and Design
  • Architecture
  • Fashion
  • Food
Industries Ripe For Disruption

The Potential Global Impact Of 3D Printing

  • Mass customization
  • Reduce time and costs for transportation
  • Decentralized manufacturing and elimination of inventory
  • Increased complexity in design
  • Environmentally friendly emissions
  • Printing with the cloud
Potential Global Impact
+ Creating & Sharing Your First 3D Designs
5 lectures 28:07

*NOTE* There are options within TinkerCAD to share your 3D files on Thingiverse, print on Shapeways and potentially even use someone else's printer through the 3D Hubs network.

Some alternative programs are Blender or Sketchup.

Creating Your First 3D Print: TinkerCAD

Make sure to check out the key trends.

3D Hubs


  • i.materialise
  • Sculpteo
  • Ponoko
  • Cubify
  • MakeXYZ
  • You3Dit
  • Kraftwurx

They have a great mission of free 3D prints for everyone and their collection is constantly expanding. Check them out first before you start to create your own "things".


Students will learn how to monetize their 3D models. Essentially there are 7 fundamental ways to make money from 3D printing. Monetizing your 3D designs in a multitude of ways (revealed inside) is a great way to go in this emerging industry,

How To Make Money With 3D Printing (Chapter 1: 3D Designs - Free Gift)
16 pages
+ Course Wrap Up
3 lectures 14:20

Since Amazon is the largest channel for selling products, imagine being able to sell your own 3D printed products (or rather files) through Amazon and have it all be automated because their 3D printers are creating everything for you. Basically you just pay for the cost of goods and transportation and keep the rest of the rest as royalty (Amazon might share the royalty as well).

I can foresee a future similar to this with Amazon and 3D printing as it integrates itself more in society. But how amazing would it be to tap into the world's largest marketplace, sell your designs and have them fulfilled almost automatically with 3D printing and logistical systems?

Amazon's 3D Printing Store

I discuss a multitude of ways anyone can begin to learn how to utilize 3D printing technology. Whether you are simply optimizing your business or changing the landscape of architecture, there are almost infinite possibilities for the use of 3D printing. I definitely encourage beginning 3D enthusiasts to first experiment with creative projects such as 3D modeling or simply sharing the 3D printer you already have. 3D printing is a phenomenal tool to start learning about the possibilities of next industrial revolution because of the front to end process that is available now worldwide.

Think it, design it, print it. It really has become that simple. The toughest challenge, as with most business, will be marketing your idea.

How To (Really) Profit From The 3D Printing Revolution
Good bye!