11 Best Ways to Learn How to Use a 3D Printer
The aim of this article is to get you on the right learning path early, to avoid investing your time or money into a technical 3D printer training course that isn’t the right fit for you.
In this review, we’ll compare the most effective options available to learn about 3D printing. This comparison is aimed at a beginner who clearly already knows what a 3D printer is, and has either purchased one already, is looking to shortly or likely to be using one soon.
Whether your goal is to learn the complete ins and outs of 3D printing for home use or to advance your knowledge for professional reasons, the range of 3D printing tutorial and courses listed here will assist with that.
If you’ve some experience using a 3D printer already, you’ll be aware that it can be a daunting experience. Where do you even start?
First, you need to know how to choose an existing design to print, where to get good files, or even design your own using software.
You need to figure out what printer you’re looking to buy or where to use one. Then you need to know how to operate it correctly so you can get good results.
"Trial and error can work, but this takes time and you need a certain level of knowledge to know what definitely doesn't cause the fault to weed out potential causes."
Learning all the steps in a methodical manner will save a lot of hassle. Sure you can just try it, and go through trial and error, but without guidance to follow; this can be a painful, lonely route.
And then there’s the troubleshooting aspect – understanding what causes certain issues, and how to correct them. This is something you can really only learn from experience. Whether you choose to learn from your own experience (potentially years figuring it out on your own), or a seasoned expert, is up to you.
We’ll also break down the various ways to learn and the pros and cons of each - make sure you invest in the learning style that suits you. Do you prefer to read a book, some tutorials, easy to follow videos, an online 3D printing course or even college or university lessons? Let’s take a look at our preferred options for you to master 3D printing for each route.
Best 3D Printing Books:
While you might not read a book like this cover to cover, preferring to learn from a more easily digestible video format perhaps – they may make good reference guides if you choose to take a 3D printing course online.
Here are some that may make a good introduction, or as a reference material. It may be a bit of a struggle to read them cover to cover, though:
1. 3D Printing For Dummies - Richard Horne & Kalani Kirk Hausman
It's an ideal book if you'd like the basics on just how do you use a 3D printer and virtually all aspects of printing. However, due to it's wide scope (it touches on almost every aspect of 3D printing), it's doesn't cover specific topics in huge depth - so it's less of an advanced technical tutorial on 3D printing techniques.
It makes for an excellent introduction, though.
2. The 3D Printing Handbook -
Collaboration from 3D Hubs
Collaboration from 3D Hubs
book - virtually every technology relating to 3D printing is covered in here.
It also nicely explains most design concepts relating to 3D design, and touches on the more advanced high-end industry machines.
3D Printing Tutorials for Beginners:
Extended or similar printer.
3D Printing Courses Near Me
course local to you, but does it cover your requirements in enough detail?
6. ALISON: How to use a 3D Printer
7. Nick Kloski: 3D Printing 101
8. LYNDA: Get your 3D Print Up and Running
Again, it's hard to cover any specific topic in solid depth in just an hour, but if you're looking to learn a bit on a range of other non-3D printing related topics, the subscription may well be worth it.
9. Instructables: Begginer 3D Printing Class
Therefore gives an excellent amount of good advice for the price (FREE) but falls short of a comprehensive course as it comprises of just 4 brief lessons.
3D Printing Collage Courses & In Person Workshops
10. Your Local Collage Course
While collages are certainly respectable and their academic authority well established, ensure the course instructor is well respected and the content has been designed from a practical, experience-lead angle.
Local collages can often be the cheapest way to do a hands-on course. Typical courses are around 90.00GBP - 295.00GBP. Be prepared to adhere to a consistent time frame schedule, as you may not be able to learn at own pace.