Getting Started with 3D Modeling & Design

Overview #

There are many 3D Modeling & Design tools out there, and you should use what you are most comfortable with. If you have no experience with 3D Modeling & Design, this page includes tool recommendations and basic tips to help you get started.

Beginner-Friendly Tools #

This tool is easy to get started with but may lack some useful features the Advanced Tools have. This tool is free.

Advanced Tools #

These tools are some of the most powerful you can find for this type of project, but may be overwhelming for a beginner. Some of these tools require purchase or subscription.

Tips and Tricks #

  1. Explore websites such as Thingiverse, Pinshape, and Cults to get an idea for what kind of designs you can use. 
  2. Check out these keyboard shortcuts for TinkercadBlenderFusion 360, and SketchUp to save more time while you create. 
  3. Start on Tinkercad’s learning feature and look through starters, lessons, and projects. This practice will get you used to using modeling interfaces as you start to work with programs like Fusion 360. 
  4. Use a mouse if possible when designing to have better control of the digital objects you are working with. 

Common Mistakes #

  1. Adjust the sizing of your model before you print. Make sure your design is fit to scale and is capable of printing at the necessary size. 
  2. Don’t rely on one view when you are working with an object. Switch around within the planes that you are using to make sure that objects don’t do things such overlap on your grid. 
  3. Save and name files on your work plane and within your chosen program to avoid confusion and lost pieces within your design. 

Accessibility Considerations #

  • Label individual pieces of your project.
  • If you post a digital copy of your design, include a description of your creation and if necessary, its capabilities.

Want More Help? #

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