learn about 3D printing

Learn About 3D Printing With These Top 6 Resources

April 13, 2023 - Emily Newton

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If you want to learn about 3D printing, start with these six resources. We’ve compiled a shortlist of the best content for getting started in 3D printing, from top YouTube channels to follow to in-person classes. No matter what your learning style is, you can get started diving into 3D printing today. 

1. YouTube

One of the best tools to learn about 3D printing is YouTube. From design tutorials to printer recommendations, there are thousands of useful 3D printing videos online. YouTube is a great starting point for people who are completely new to 3D printing. The visual format is perfect for learning essential skills like installing printer filament or curing a model. 

There are a few YouTube channels that are particularly helpful for 3D printing beginners: 

  • 3D Printing Nerd: This channel is a great place to find tips and tricks, guides and fun 3D printing videos. The host often posts about projects he’s currently working on as well as new products and apps he’s trying out. 
  • Maker’s Muse: This channel has over 1 million subscribers, a clear indication of high quality content. Here you’ll find tutorials and beginner’s guides as well as general DIY marker-related content. 
  • Thomas Sanladerer: Thomas’s channel is full of 3D printing guides, advice and hacks. His videos are great for beginners since he does a lot of product reviews, which are great for researching printers and filaments. He even has a series for 3D printing beginners, going over all the basics you need to know. 

2. Free Modeling Programs

If you’re going to learn about 3D printing, sooner or later you will want to try creating your own models. This can seem daunting at first. Computer Aided Design, or CAD, does have a bit of a learning curve. When you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to stick to beginner-friendly, free modeling programs. 

Two popular and free-to-use programs for beginners are SketchUp and Tinkercad. Both programs are somewhat limited in what they can do, but that’s often a good thing for a beginner. You won’t be overwhelmed with an excess of features and settings available to you. 

Plus, both programs have built-in tutorials and a large community of users who can offer advice and more detailed tutorials. For example, SketchUp has the SketchUp Campus library of courses and tutorials, many of which are free. Tinkercad has a learning center, as well, which also includes guides on circuits and microelectronics. 

3. Model Sharing Sites

When you’re just starting to learn about 3D printing, getting your first model finished can be a big confidence booster. It’s usually easier to start with a model someone else has already made, rather than your own design. There’s no shame in this – 3D modeling takes time to learn. Plus, others in the 3D printing community have created some pretty awesome designs! 

Model sharing sites are online communities where people can share 3D printing files they’ve created. These are usually free for anyone to use. From toys to tools, you can find almost any kind of 3D printing model you want on model sharing sites. One good place to start is Printables, which has millions of free ready-to-print models as well as contests and educational resources. 

4. Online Courses

If you want to delve a little deeper into 3D printing topics, an online course could be a helpful resource. There are many free and paid courses available today that will teach you the basics of 3D printing as well as more complex or niche topics. It’s probably more time and cost-effective to learn the basics from YouTube, but a more structured online course could definitely be helpful for learning advanced 3D modeling. 

For example, the University of Illinois offers an online course on 3D printing software that covers several popular programs. Online courses like this are also helpful if you want some certifications to add to your resume. The structured nature of a course allows you to demonstrate formal training and experience in 3D printing skills. This can come in handy if you’re hoping to apply your 3D printing knowledge in the workplace. 

If you’re looking for something more casual, try starting with a basic beginner guide online.

5. Books and Magazines

You don’t need expensive video courses or any special gadgets to learn about 3D printing. There are tons of great books and magazines out there that are perfect for beginners. It can be easier to pace yourself when you’re learning from a book rather than a video. It’s also easier to simply pick up and read whenever you have a spare minute. In contrast, you can’t always turn on your volume or pull out headphones to watch a 3D printing video. 

Good 3D printing books and magazines for beginners include:

6. Maker Spaces

Maker Spaces are like after school clubs, but for any age group. They’re community centers for makers and DIYers, offering tools and equipment as well as classes and events. 3D printing is a staple of maker spaces. If you can’t afford your own 3D printer or simply want to try out the hobby, going to a maker space is a great idea. 

You can use Google to find maker spaces in your area. They often charge a monthly fee that allows you free access to all the tools and gear the maker space has on-site. There may be extra fees for certain specialized equipment, though. 

Maker spaces are also great places to get guidance and advice as a beginner. More experienced makers can give you tips on 3D printing and help you with troubleshooting. They may even have in-person quick start classes you can take to get the ball rolling. 

Learn About 3D Printing Quickly and Easily

The resources on this list can all be extremely helpful for those who want to learn about 3D printing. If you’re new to the hobby, try out a combination of different resources to see what works best for you. Focus on the parts of the hobby you enjoy most, whether that’s painting your finished models or designing CAD models in SketchUp. With the right tools and resources, anyone can become a master at 3D printing! 

Revolutionized is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn more here.


Emily Newton

Emily Newton is a technology and industrial journalist and the Editor in Chief of Revolutionized. She manages the sites publishing schedule, SEO optimization and content strategy. Emily enjoys writing and researching articles about how technology is changing every industry. When she isn't working, Emily enjoys playing video games or curling up with a good book.

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