Hey there everyone in 3D Printing! I am going to be teaching a 3D

Hey there everyone in 3D Printing!

I am going to be teaching a 3D printing 101 class at my local hackerspace in a couple of weeks. I have been 3D printing for about 2 years on several different hobby grade FDM printers, and I want to make sure I cover all of my bases for a 101 class.

My class will not be going over the mechanics of the printer itself in depth, IE this isn’t a “how do you build a 3D printer” type class, and is more geared towards jumping right into printing. I am going to go over the functions of exactly how a printer prints, how it turns filament into things, but probably not much more.

So my question to all of you is: What information would you include in a intro to 3D printing class? How in depth should I get into the mechanics of the machine versus how printing works? Keep in mind this class will be ~2 - 2.5 hours long and will include hands on printing time.

Thanks a lot.

Don’t put too much into these 2 hours: Show them how a model (STL) is sliced and printed. Then make sure they get their hands on a printer. A must: EVERYBODY can print an object; perhaps a http://cookiecaster.com :slight_smile:

You might want to have a machine or two going in the background, but from the workshops and dog-and-pony shows I’ve done it’s pretty much “The printer spits out melted plastic wherever you tell it to; software takes a computer design of a 3D and slices it into layers, and then generates instructions to tell the printer to go to the right places.” Everything else (flat bottom, infill, support) you fill in as you go along.

If you have one of the slicers or front ends that will let you show a 3D layer-by-layer view, that’s incredibly helpful, because it can show an object being built up way faster than the printer can do it.

And yes, get them their own artifacts, even if it’s just an extruded 2D shape or text, or a simple customization of an existing thing. For an initial workshop you don’t want to get down into the weeds.

I’d suggest finding a few Thingiverse Customizer Things so they can generate their own Thing and print it. Probably something compact and flat (save time), add a bunch to the build plate to print at the same time.

Something like:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:248325 or

I’d also briefly cover intellectual property, licensing and ethics of attribution etc.

Any idea what the people attending already know?

Unfortunately no, but I think I may give out a quick 1 question survey at the start of the class to figure that out. I am expecting that everyone who attends knows enough about 3D printers to want to attend a class on how to use them (as opposed to a lecture on what they are and what you can and cannot do with them - which my class will do, but that’s not what it’s for).

Thanks, I appreciate the input from someone at another hackerspace! Things like the nitty gritty of leveling, prepping, and upkeep is what I want to go over, I just wasn’t sure what exactly people don’t know about or should be taught more about.

My class will not touch on how to create models at all, we are going to have a separate class about that altogether.