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Our top pick in 3D printing courses is The 3D Printing Revolution by Udemy. It’s one of the most popular 3D printing courses on the net, attracting well over 39,000, and has had some incredibly positive feedback from students.
You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have.By Maya Angelou
3D printing has really been trending in recent years, both with amateur hobbyists and enthusiasts, and with those who want to go into it as a side hustle, or even as a full living.
And whichever side of the line you’re down on, there’ll be something for you here.
But regardless of your intentions, anything worth doing is worth doing right. It pays to learn how to 3D print properly rather than merely stumbling along hoping to get it right.
After all, after paying so much money for a 3D printer it makes sense to be prepared to pay for a course to learn how to use your amazing little machine as it should be used.
Moreover, the idea of trying to create your own 3D models can be particularly daunting if you’ve never really done it before. But if the interest and enthusiasm is already there, all you need is a little bit of guidance before you can make some amazing creations.
We’re going to show you our top 5 online courses in 3D printing, and our reviews on these are coming up very shortly.
Following on from that, we’ve also got a guide for you on how to choose the best 3D printing course. And we’re then going to follow that up with a quick FAQ section.
Now, this is a fantastic course to not only learn a little about 3D printing and how to print and customize 3D designs, but also to learn about how 3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacturing industries.
When this article was written it had attracted well over 39,000 students, and student feedback has been very positive indeed, having earned an average student rating of 4.7 stars out of a possible 5.
So, let’s take a look at what makes this such a great course.
Reason one: What we love the most about this course is its potential to improve your career prospects. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, Cousera follows up on its students and surveys them for course feedback. And it was found that 28% of its students achieved a tangible career benefit from the course.
Not least because they get to earn a certificate in 3D printing that can be shared to their LinkedIn account.
Reason two: And this career benefit comes not just from the certificate you obtain at the end of the course, but also as a result of observing interviews with people in the 3D printing industry, and learning about 3D printing directly from those who are in the know, who work in the industry day in and day out.
Reason three: You can enroll for free! Great huh?!
But be wary that the course may only be available for free at the very beginning. Coursera are within their rights to charge a fee once you’ve had a taster.
One aspect of the course that some might see as a drawback is that there are intermittent quizzes to test what you have learned.
Although it would seem fair to some that some kind of bar should be reached in order to earn a certificate, someone taking the course as a hobbyist may not appreciate it quite so much.
While SkillShare is best known for its quick-fire tutorials, this course is quite different from their usual portfolio of courses. And this particular course stood out to us as the most worthwhile course in 3D printing that they have to offer. Here’s why you might be interested.
Reason One: This course centers around THE 3D modeling software of the moment, Autodesk Fusion 360. This software is available in two different versions, including one for personal use, which is completely free of charge for your first year.
Reason Two: You get an amazing course tutor. Tutor Micheal Freeman has over 23 years of experience as a Draughtsman & CAD Designer in a wide variety of disciplines and is still working as a designer in the industry today. Moreover, Michael has been using the software ever since its initial release back in 2013.
Reason Three: This course will give you a really in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Autodesk Fusion 360 software. It will take you from having no prior knowledge of the software, all the way through to advanced modeling, and being able to output your designs to your 3D printer.
It’s significantly more in-depth on Fusion 360 than many comparable courses, as reflected in the length of the course. Whereas many other courses may offer a maximum of say 2 hours on Fusion 360, this course will provide you with over 7 hours’ worth of footage.
The downside of this course, to point out the obvious, is that it concentrates solely on the design side of 3D modeling, rather than on the printing per se.
As such, it doesn’t teach you about choosing a 3D printer, or how a 3D printer works, or how to troubleshoot with your 3D printer.
Now, this 3D printing course from Coursera has attracted well over 35,000 students, and these students have rated it very highly, at 4.6 stars out of a possible 5 stars. So, let’s take a look at why it’s so popular.
Reason One: Unlike the majority of online courses these days which are typically composed of a PowerPoint presentation and audio, this course is a lot more hands-on. You don’t just get a series of videos showing you how to use 3D printing software, but you also get access to use the software for yourself.
This software is Autodesk Fusion 360.
It’s one of the most popular apps for 3D printing, but it normally charges a subscription fee, but this will be covered by your course fees, AND you’ll still be able to access it after your course has finished. And you can learn and use other software besides
Reason Two: There are real career benefits to this course. Students will learn to use 3D printing software to design a wide variety of objects for both personal and professional use. AND they also get a certificate on completion of the course, which is shareable on social media.
Reason Three: This course takes you from being a complete beginner to being an advanced 3D printing software user. Which is quite a mean feat in just 4 modules.
The only drawback to this course, if you consider it a drawback, is that it’s more time consuming than a lot of the other 3D printing courses around. But it’s not overly long, it takes just 15 hours to complete, so you could do it in a week.
Udemy is one of the biggest online course platforms out there, and this is by far one of their most popular 3D printing courses, attracting well over 17,000 students.
After well over 5000 student ratings, the course earned 4.6 stars out of 5 with students – that’s pretty impressive. So, let’s look into why it’s so popular.
Reason one: This is one of the more affordable courses on the market, available for less than $100, sometimes way less if you manage to catch a deal. It’s affordable for everybody.
Reason two: The course is aimed at complete beginners, and requires absolutely no prior knowledge, not just of the software being used, but also of product design in general. The course is specifically aimed at tinkerers, hobbyists, and artists.
Reason three: The third reason is how the course is taught. You get to watch 4 hours’ worth of video, which is the perfect way to demonstrate something as visually demanding as 3D printing and design. And there are no fiddly nuisance quizzes to have to deal with along the way.
There are other reasons you might choose this course, but you could argue that these are the main ones.
The one downside to this course, if you call it a downside, is that although the course tutor has taught a great number of students, he hasn’t actually played any kind of role in the manufacturing industry, and appears instead to be better suited to making printouts for fun or for purely educational purposes.
There’s a lot to be said for obtaining by course directly through its producers rather than on some generic online course platform, which is why we took a look at this course from the 3D Printing Academy.
So, let’s go into what this course has going for it, and why you might be interested in it.
Reason One: What struck us as particularly valuable from this course is the first module. If you haven’t already bought a 3D printer, this module explains how to choose a 3D printer. And given the price of them, it’s something that you want to get right.
The module also explains how 3D printers work, and how to set up your 3D printer.
Reason Two: This course is also incredibly quick to complete. Even though it takes you from choosing a 3D printer in the very beginning, it takes you all the way through to actually printing some designs, in a meager 5 lessons, that can be viewed in as little as 2 hours!
Reason Three: We also love how affordable the course is. You get a reasonably comprehensive introduction to 3D printing at a bargain price. You might even be able to catch a deal.
One of the drawbacks to this course is that there are very few reviews available to view from students.
Now, this could be because the academy only puts extremely positive reviews on its website, or it could be because the course has only very recently been made available, which is possibly more likely.
There are different types of 3D printers around, and you will have to decide which type you want to learn about, FDM or resin printers. FDM 3D printers are the ones most commonly used, but you can get better precision with resin 3D printers.
Also, with regards to the software to learn, you could decide to learn only how to use the free 3D printing software that’s readily available on the net, or if you want to learn something a little more exclusive.
It would make good business sense, if you were leaning that way, to get to grips with the software that’s the most prevalent in the industry.
The most commonly used slicing software is Slic3r, whereas, for 3D modeling, you might want to think about learning to use Autodesk Fusion 360, Blender, SketchUp, or some other type of CAD software.
If you were looking to learn 3D printing as a stepping stone to a side hustle or business, then you would do well to ensure that you will receive a certificate in recognition of the material and the skills learned.
There are two types of people in this world, those who like to take things slow and get perfect results, and those that can’t wait to get started on new exciting projects.
The good news is that there are 3D printing courses to suit both types of people.
You might also want to look into the tutor’s level of experience. You can find out for example, how long have they been teaching. And whether they’ve ever worked in designing and manufacturing.
3D printing can be taught online in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it’s simply the case of watching a number of different videos. And that’s great for visual learners, but it’s not always enough.
You could seek out courses that test your acquired knowledge at the end of every video. Or better yet you could go for a course with an element of hands-on learning, where you can actually access and use the 3D printing or modeling software that you’ve been learning about.
Now, we’ve simply got to tell you to be wary about choosing your 3D printing course when it comes to the cost. You can get some courses that cost about an hour’s wage, and you can get others that cost about $2000.
As you might imagine, these courses are hardly equal in terms of what they can teach you, and naturally, are for different lengths of time. You get what you pay for, as they say.
It’s worth noting at this point some of the bigger online course platforms frequently hold sales, and if you catch them at the right time, you might be able to bag yourself a considerable discount.
The answer to this pretty much depends on how deep do you want to go with it. Some people just want to learn how to send a 3D design to their 3D printer and get a perfect 3D printout. Which is great.
But other people like to go deeper still and delve into 3D design, and learning how to design is a whole other skill set altogether. How far you want to go is totally down to you.
While 3D printing is still relatively new compared to so many other markets, there certainly is a growing demand for 3D printing these days. In fact, there’s a growing demand for prototyping (including via 3D printing) right across the entire manufacturing industry.
And, according to an article from Fortune Business Insights written as recently as October 30, 2020, the global 3D printing industry is predicted to reach a total of 51.77 billion dollars by the year 2026. Here’s the link: Fortune Business Insights.
The 3D printing industry is very profitable, generating huge amounts of revenue. However, it is important to note at this point that depends very much on the 3D printing niche that you go into.
For a breakdown into some of the main niches in 3D printing and just how profitable or competitive these niches are, please take a look at the article available on the following link: https://businessnes.com/is-3d-printing-business-profitable-market-analysis/.
Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.
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