As considerable demand has grown for 3d printing education and classes, colleges and universities have been offering more continuing educations and non-credit certificate courses to reflect this public interest. Of course, there are plenty of places to learn about 3d printing – both online and offline. There is a growing amount of 3d printing literature available – from books about 3d printing, ebooks, to peer reviewed journals.
Because of this abundance of information, it’s great to have a trusted academic university be able to offer courses. Even though you may not receive official college credit, having a continuing education course from a reputable university looks great on a resume and is a signal of trust that the curriculum is rigorous and thorough.
Reasons to Take a 3D Printing Certificate Course
- Looks great on a resume
- You are confident that the instructor is knowledgeable and qualified
- You get a certificate
- More rigid learning schedule
- Usually more expensive
Why Learn 3D Printing?
Interest Over Time
There has been a considerable uptick in interest in learning about 3d printing since 2012. It’s no wonder why there have been more and more institutions offering 3d printing courses. 3D Printing has been growing as skill that employers look for. If you know 3d printing, it may help you get hired somewhere – especially in a creative design field.
Become a Better Designer
The design ecosystem we live in and the prerequisite skills and experience needed are constantly evolving. Stay on the bleeding edge to avoid becoming a design dinosaur. Or …Designosaur??? Nevermind.
Everyone is Using It
If you ‘re working in a creative professional environment, it’s increasingly likely that there will be a 3d printer in the studio. Nearly every industrial/ product design studio will have 3d printers in-house for prototyping and companies spanning several creative disciplines are learning how to leverage its use.
Start a Business
Invention has never been so easy and cheap. Have a product idea? Use your knowledge of 3d printing to build a prototype and test it’s viability before going down an expensive path of mass production or hiring a professional design consultancy to help get your idea off the ground.
You don’t necessarily need an idea now or need a specific use case. Once you are able to add 3d design and 3d printing to your “toolbox”, you will be a much more dangerous and effective designer, entrepreneur, maker, or inventor.
3D Printing Certificate Programs in NYC
New York City College of Technology
Montclair State University (New Jersey)
3D Printing Certificate Programs Online
Other Local Classes/ Workshops
Local Courses and Workshops – An online search query in your local area may reveal some local 3d printing bureaus offering 3d printing classes. In NYC for instance, 3d printing classes are offered from a number of companies including Make Mode, Makery, and Brooklyn Brainery.
In addition to local classes offered by private companies, New York Public Library has partnered with Shapeways to develop a free 3d printing curriculum.
Course Horse –
Course Horse aggregates local classes from established schools and training centers and is a great place to find 3d printing classes. Course Horse is currently limited to New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Although MeetUp does not host courses, it is a great platform for finding like minded individuals in your area that are also interested in 3d printing.
Eventbrite is a website listing events ranging from concerts, networking events, and parties. It is also full of classes and there may be local 3d printing classes listed here.
This subscription based website offers training and courses from a wide range of disciplines and industries including photography, business, and design. Through Lynda, you can find high quality tutorials and courses taught by industry professionals on a wide range of design software including Rhino, Maya, and ZBrush and also general 3d printing concepts. Although Lynda costs $25/ month, many public library systems offer free Lynda access for free.
Coursera is an online collection of free courses from many of the world’s top-tier universities. Through Coursera, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a suite of 3D printing specialization courses.
Self Taught/ Online Community Support
If you are the self learning type, there are plenty of resources available for learning 3d design and 3d printing. Here are some resources and media that may help self education for 3d printing and 3d design.
On Amazon, or at physical bookstores, many 3d modeling programs have comprehensive guides and primers for learning specific software. Many digital design programs have training DVDs or books (both physical or digital).
YouTube is a helpful resource in many cases when learning 3d design software. It’s not uncommon to encounter instances where you might run into an issue and think “Why doesn’t this work?” For specific cases, searching YouTube for tutorials and walkthroughs can be extremely helpful. For instance, a search of “Convert Meshes to T-Splines in Rhino” or “Boolean Union in Rhino” will lead you to short, very specific videos of helpful youtubers walking you through commands.
Online 3D Printing Forums
Online forums are helpful for issues with hardware. Whether you are soliciting advice for a 3d printer that needs support, you are looking to share a project you are working on, or if you want to see what others are up to in the community, some of these forums are a good place to speak to other 3d printing enthusiasts.
Rep Rap Forums
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