DIY 3D design and 3D printing: Create your own 3D objects.

Learn how to design and print 3D objects for personal use.
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  • Lectures 26
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

Become a maker of your own 3D objects ready for your specific purpose.

Learn the practical steps to create 3D designs and 3D printed objects.

  • Imagine what you can make
  • Measure & sketch how you can make
  • 3D design your sketch in 123D Design
  • Prepare your 3D design for 3D print
  • Get your design 3D printed

Get skilled in the current 3D innovation wave

By learning the practical steps to 3D design and 3D print and creating instant and useable results you take your first step on the 3D innovation wave.

The next decade the 3D innovation wave will provide job opportunities in 3D stores, 3D designing, small scale custom made manufacturing, and yet to be started new services in customized and personalized object making.

Content and overview

Suitable for beginning designers and makers this course provides 26 lectures and over 2 hours of content. You will learn the 5 steps it takes to get from an idea to a printed 3D object you can use everyday. You will get inspired by hands on video tutorials and master step by step how to become a maker yourself. You can directly make your own sketches, designs and prints and (re) use downloadable examples.

Included practical design examples are: personalized objects like boxes and cups, copies of existing objects like toys and household utensils, replacements of broken objects like handles, brackets, fittings.

The section on 3D design will reveal all secrets on rapid 3D design with Autodesk 123D design. Autodesk 123D design is made by Autodesk, a world leading manufacturer of 3D design software for professional designers. Autodesk 123D design is a low entry 3D design software version aimed at personal makers. You can import 123D designs in professional fusion 360 software.

The sections on 3D print and preparing to print provide essential 3D printing tips. After completing these sections you will understand how to get the best 3D print results through solid print preparation. You will also understand how to modify a 3D design to get better print results.

What are you going to get form this course?

  • Learn essential steps to become a 3D object maker
  • Develop 3D maker skills and participate in the 3D innovation wave
  • Learn rapid 3D design using 123D design software
  • Visual practical training method
  • Downloadable and reusable example 3D designs
  • Practical tips and tricks when using an online 3D printing hub

What are the requirements?

  • download and install 123D design software. We will cover this in Section 4, Lecture 9 of this course.
  • a classic ruler to measure objects

What am I going to get from this course?

  • follow the fatest path from idea to usable personal objects
  • choose the easiest tool to design your own things
  • develop basic skills to design in 123D design and create ready to use objects
  • get inspired by practical examples of self made objects that serve your personal needs

Who is the target audience?

  • this course on 3D design and 3D printing is for starters in 3D making
  • this course is for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in 3D making
  • this course is for job seekers who want to work in 3D making business
  • this course is for 3D designers who seek a crash course in 123D Design
  • no prior 3D design or 3D printing knowledge is needed

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

In this lecture I will show what you can expect in this course. Basically: getting you as quickly as possible on a basic maker level. No prior design or maker knowledge is needed.


In this lecture I will show an example of designing and making an object for personal use. After completion of this course you will be able to accomplish the same and even more complicated projects.

5 pages

In this lecture I will show the minimum requirements you need to complete this course. No prior design experience is needed. No engineering skills are required. The course is made for starters in the field 3D design and 3D printing.

Only 4 things are required:

1) A Windows or Apple computer (minimum version requirements)

2) An internet connection (standard ADSL connection is sufficient)

3) (a download for free from) Autodesk 123D design software

4) A ruler (an ordinary ruler you (used to) use at school works fine


In this lecture I explain that every project in 3D design and 3D printing takes 5 steps from start to result. Sections two to six in this course cover each step in more detail.

Section 2: Step 1 Imagine what to make

In this lecture I take you on a short tour on the internet. I will show three well known sites where designers share or offer their 3D designs. Examples of 3D designs of other designers are an easy and fast way to get inspired. It helps you to imagine what designs you could think off to create objects for personal use.

Check the resources. I have added a list of useful URLs of sites where you can find thousands of examples of things, parts, designs and all sorts of 3D objects which you can download, use, alter or get inspired by to design and make your own objects.

Section 3: Step 2 Measure and sketch

In this lecture I explain the basics on measuring and sketching. We start measuring and sketching basic objects like a box or a cup.


In this lecture I explain how to measure angles. For measuring angles we use a protractor. Learn how to use a protractor to measure askew sides on an object.


In this lecture I explain how to get more precise measurements. To get these we use a caliper. Check out also the resources. I have added pictures that explain how to read measurements on a caliper.

Section 4: Step 3 3D Design in Autodesk 123D design

In this lecture I explain how to install 123D design on a Mac or a PC.


In this lecture we take a tour through 123D Design. I will show you the menu's and panels and explain their meaning and functions. In the next lectures I will cover all the tools and functions available in 123D design in more detail. Step by step I will show what makes 123D design a RAPID 3D design tool.


In this lecture I explain how to create Primitives. There are limitations when using primitives. Primitives are however the easiest and fastest way to create 3D objects. I will explain about the viewing and navigations options in 123D Design. There are plenty of them, they are powerful and they are easy to use!


In this lecture I explain how to move and rotate objects. Knowing how to move and rotate your object is a basic skill in 3D design. If you can precisely move an object then you can extend or modify objects by combining or subtracting.


In this lecture I explain why 2D sketching is essential to make 3D designs. I will show several examples of 3D objects that all start with one or more 2D sketches.


In this lecture we cover 2D Sketching of Primitives. This is the fastest way to get a 2D shape. There are a limited number of 2D Primitive shapes. As with 3D primitives you can only specify exact dimension values when you create a 2D shape.


In this lecture we learn using all available 2D sketch tools other than Primitives. On freehand 2D sketches you can change dimensions entering new values after you created them. The 2D sketch menu provides various (almost) freehand sketching options. You can create 2D shapes that let's you construct almost any object you can imagine.

I will show several examples of creating 3D objects from 2D shapes.

Remember to always "close" your 2D sketch to a 2D shape. Only closed 2D shapes let you use construction methods like extrude, revolve, loft or sweep.


In this lecture I explain how we can modify 3D objects in 123D Design.


In this lecture I explain how we can combine 3D objects. First move one object into another object, make sure they overlap partly or completely. There are three combine options:

  1. Merge: Merge the two objects together
  2. Subtract: Let one object cut out a part out of the other object
  3. Intersect: Keep only the overlapping part of the two objects.

In this lecture I explain how we can create a pattern of copies of an object. There are three pattern options:

Rectangular, Circular and Path.

A fourth option under Pattern is Mirror. Mirror let's you mirror selected objects about a mirror plane.


In this lecture I explain how to Group and Ungroup objects in 123D Design. Usually you use Group if you want to move or rotate multiple objects simultaneously.


In this lecture you learn how to snap objects. You can snap objects by clicking on the faces of an object you want to snap together. You can turn automatic grouping while snapping on or off.


In this lecture I explain how you can create curved 3D text in 123 D design. We use circular pattern to create box shaped pasteboards on which we can snap the 3D letters. We use snapping objects to snap the face of each letter on to a box.


In this lecture we design our first object that we can print and use everyday. It is cup with your name on it (or your spouse's, your kids etc).

We use several design futures that where covered in previous lectures like:

  • Primitives and view options
  • Move and rotate objects
  • Use circular pattern
  • Snap Objects

Try make a cup with your own name on it. You can also try to make copy of a cup that you own so you can exercise measure & sketching your object too. If you run into trouble don't hesitate to post a question.

Check the resources at this lecture for downloadable models of the cup.


In this lecture we design a second object we can use every day. Maybe it is better to say our kids can use it everyday. We have measured and sketched a Duplo curved track. Next we figure out with which drawing plan we need to get our track 3D designed.

Sweeping a profile is the easiest and fastest way for this design. We will use the next design functions:

  • 2D freehand sketch
  • Mirror a 2D sketch
  • Sketch an Arc
  • Sweep a profile along an Arc
  • Create a 2D shape from 2 Arcs and 2 polylines
  • Use a 2D shape to Subtract from a track solid
  • Create, merge and subtract 3D shapes as connectors

Check the resources at this lecture. They contain a copy of the 123D 3D design model and the STL file.


In this lecture I will create a spare part to replace a broken corner fitting of a party tent. This example shows how 3D designing and making can be very usefull in every day life where things get broken. Now you don't have to throw the whole thing away if only a small part is broken. Just copy and replace the broken part!

To create this design we use the next design functions:

  • Create primitive Cylinders
  • Use shell to hollow the cylinders out
  • Move and position and use different view angles to align
  • Extrude new solids from 2D sketches
  • Extrude and subtract from a 2D circle

Check the resources. I have added the 123D design file and the STL file of this object.

Section 5: Step 4 Prepare to Print

In this lecture I cover the steps you must take to prepare for a successful 3D print.

The focus in this course is on FDM printing. Hence print preparation focus is on prints using the FDM method.

FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modeling. It is a printing process that creates 3D objects by stacking melting layers of plastic filament.

FDM 3D printing is fast growing in the consumer market. Most important reason is the rapidly falling prizes of 3D printers. You can get a fully assembled one for only $400. Maybe you already own a 3D printer or you are considering buying one. The topics covered in this lecture are also useful when you own a 3D printer. However specific technical tips & tricks depend on the type and brand of 3D printer. Preferably you should consult owners of the same printer on a community website to learn more about technical tips & tricks about your specific printer.

Section 6: Step 5 3D Print using an online 3D printhub

In this lecture I show you how to print your 3D design using an online print hub. I use 3Dhubs dot com because it is a worldwide service and it offers 3D prints at a reasonable price. 3Dhubs uses 3D print capacity at home. You more or less use your neighbor's 3D printer. You can save up to 75% on a PLA print compared to Shapeways or I materialise.

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Instructor Biography

Herman Groenewegen, Business consultant


Since 1998 Herman practices business consulting for medium sized enterprises. During this period Herman was engaged in developing and implementing new products and services in transportation, mobility and health services.

Always interested in new technologies Herman is studying and exploring the new possibilities of 3D semi-professional home printing since 2012. Late 2013 Herman bought his first 3D printer and started designing, studying and making.

Herman has a master degree in Business Administration, Groningen University, Netherlands.

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