You’ve bought your 3D printer, and you’re having fun with it, designing things and printing files you downloaded from Thingiverse.
But… you can’t help but feel like you don’t fully understand exactly what you’re doing – or, you’ve hit a decent skill level with 3D slicer settings, 3D printer management, or part design, but you want to reach the next level to secure a job in the field or start your own 3D printing business.
Luckily for you, there are resources out there to solve your problem.
These days, there are plenty of places online where you can take 3D printing classes to help you break through such limits and discover more than you may have even thought there was to learn.
With plenty of both free and paid course sellers who will tell you they’re ‘great for beginners’ or could help you advance your career, it’s hard to know who to trust with something as delicate and important as education.
So we’ve put together our list of the best 3D printing courses and classes to save you time, and direct you towards the highest-quality 3D printing education around, so you can pick up the key skills that make you money and supercharge your hobby.
The Best 3D Printing Courses and Certifications 2022 — Including 3D Printing Classes
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Io3DP – Institute of 3D Printing – the best 3D printing course overall
- Price: $27/month – Get a $1 14-day trial here
The latest project by the team who founded rigid.ink, one of the first producers of 3D printer filament, the Institute of 3D Printing builds on everything the team learned from the years of cutting-edge experiments in filament and other areas of 3D printing.
The result: some of the highest-quality 3D printing teaching around.
Io3DP’s team collectively have over 30 years of 3D printing experience, and once you become a member, you have access to them with 1:1 mentorship options and support, ensuring you get the most out of their 3D printing course.
When you join, you get access to their normally $497-priced Complete Confusion-Free Guide To 3D Printing Mastery Core Course, completely free!
You don’t need any knowledge to start with the Institute of 3D printing – the instructors don’t assume any previous knowledge or experience and tailor their teaching to answer any questions you may have – and if you’re still unsure, feel free to ask them directly.
Membership is ideal for people who:
- Want to master their 3D printer to make perfect-looking miniatures, characters or other designs
- Want to start their own 3D printing business and sell their prints
- Want to land their dream job in the field
Teaching is condensed into 20-35 minute masterclasses filled with actionable tips and tricks you can use for your future 3D printing projects. Beyond improving the quality of your 3D prints, other Io3DP courses cover how to use 3D printing software – AKA 3D slicers – including all the lesser-known features on slicers such as Cura and Simplify3D to take your prints to the next level.
You also get access to IO3DP’s members-only community, where you can ask questions, bond over shared interests, and share and give your feedback on projects, ideas and designs.
And you get all this for just $27 per month on their monthly plan, with 2 months free if you sign up for their yearly plan. Or, if you want to get lifetime access, including to every future monthly masterclass that comes out, the Io3DP offers this for $597.
But, if you click the link below, you get access to Io3DP’s exclusive $1 deal with 14 days access at a fraction of the normal price! This gives you time to see whether the 3D printing course is for you, so there’s no risk of being left feeling disappointed.
Udemy has a wide variety of 3D printing courses for people of all levels and interests. Some, like this introductory course, are even ideal for those of you who don’t even know which 3D printer you want to get yet!
If you’re on the hunt for a more all-in-one experience, it’s very much worth checking out this guide to just about everything from the basic applications of 3D printing to slicing software and a rundown of the various parts for both maintenance and assembly.
Udemy on the whole is a great place to learn in your own time and specializes in helping people take their hobbies to new levels. While you’ll not find any official credentials here, Udemy should be your first stop for 3D printing classes when you feel lost on where to begin or where to go on your 3D printing journey.
Udemy even offers 3D printing classes for working with specific 3D printers like the Fusion 360 so you’ll get knowledge specific to your tech, removing any guesswork from terms that may not necessarily apply to all machines.
Coursera is a one-stop-shop for anyone seeking learning resources from language acquisition to mathematics. And in their impressively massive library is a plethora of specialty 3D printing courses to fit just about any niche.
- 3D printing classes for working in the dental industry
- 3D printing software courses
- Complete 3D printing specialization
- 3D printing within the fashion design process
Coursera courses are often more traditional in structure, offering 3D printing courses that start and end at specific dates. While this means you will get a more familiar and structured education, it also requires quite a bit of dedication and time management.
While this is a point in its favor, it does mean that you’ll want to look elsewhere if you don’t have the time to dedicate to classes or simply prefer to learn at your own pace.
Because of Coursera’s massive range of specialty courses, finding the right one as a beginner may be a bit time-consuming and tricky, though the most positive course reviews speak for themselves when it comes to figuring out if they’re worth it.
Skillshare is a very popular online learning tool for very good reasons. Amongst their library of courses are 3D printing classes, with my recommendation for beginners being this Introduction to 3D Printing course.
Taught by decorated designer and technologist Lauren Slowik, this 3D printing course takes you through the basics of design from idea to printing preparation.
If you’re hungry for more once you’ve finished, you can find Slowik’s other 3D printing lessons on Skillshare for things like CAD design problems and fixes.
If you’re a newbie, you’ll find good footing with 3D printing in this class and the confidence to get going for yourself. Even if you don’t yet own a 3D printer, getting used to the software and getting some good design tips is immensely useful, and means you’ll be ready when your new machine arrives!
Skillshare is a general learning platform, meaning you may have a tough time finding exactly the course for you when you choose to move on to a specialty. However, as an all-in-one, you may just find yourself getting involved in far more than just 3D printing courses over time.
The UI is intuitive, and the teachers tend to carry impressive pedigree. In true ‘learning from each other’ fashion, Skillshare will prove a useful tool regardless of the direction in which you choose to take your learning.
If, like me, you regularly forget that you even have a LinkedIn profile at all, it may come as a surprise that they do offer courses to help further your career or help you find a new one.
If you’re looking for a new job in engineering, then you’ll definitely want to take a look at this rapid prototyping course.
Rapid prototyping involves the quick design and creation of new parts via additive manufacturing to thoroughly test said parts in a practical environment before applying them to real-world machines. The cost-effective and time-saving nature of rapid prototyping has seen it become an invaluable and very popular process in engineering.
That said, it’s very easy to see why experience and knowledge in rapid prototyping is a very desirable addition to your resumé.
Upon completion of the course, you’ll get a certificate on LinkedIn that will be visible to potential employers, significantly upping your chances at landing that new job. However, it’s not recommended for beginners.
While not particularly advanced, the rapid prototyping course does require some prior knowledge, and so is aimed more at professionals looking to advance their careers. Essentially, you may want to take an introductory course or two before opting for the more intermediate levels offered here.
If you’re already in the know about 3D printing and feel like you could expand more with some help, LinkedIn also offers this 3D printing course with some helpful advice and techniques for bringing your craft to a whole new level.
At only 5 hours, and taught by a professional additive manufacturing consultant, it’s easy to see why this is one popular choice for learners.
Machine-Specific 3D Printer Tutorials
Technology evolves at an alarming rate these days, and the availability of 3D printers for household use has been just too enticing for many of us. So, as something of an honorary mention, we’re going to talk about machine-specific tutorials to get you up and printing with confidence.
It’s easy to forget that 3D printers are fairly complicated machines, and not knowing what you’re doing can lead to frustration at best, and even dangerous mishandling at worst.
Because of this, many 3D printer manufacturers have released overviews and tutorials on how to get specific models up and running smoothly. While many are not ‘courses’ per se, they are 3D printer classes that will help you find solid footing with these impressive machines.
One such example is Creality’s easy introduction to their ever-popular line of 3D printers here.
Many of these tutorials are easily found on the company sites or YouTube, and we highly recommend giving them a look if you’re not entirely certain of what you’re doing. Mishandling a 3D printer can lead to expensive and even harmful damage that could cost you more than just money.
What Kinds of 3D Printing Courses Are There?
Like many art forms, 3D printing classes come in different varieties depending on where you want to focus your education.
3D Printing Courses for Beginners
Additive manufacturing for beginners is a great place to get started, while courses in 3D printing software are better for those of you who want to know more about exactly how 3D printers communicate with our computers and tablets.
3D Printing Software Courses
There are also courses on how to use CAD and visualization software to help with your designing techniques and model preparation.
3D Printing Courses for Design
There are even 3D printing classes for artistic endeavors and fashion design! Courses like these are often more freeform and easy to pick up, though you’ll want to get comfortable with the basics of 3D printing before getting started, perhaps by taking a 3D Printing course for beginners.
3D Printing Courses for Industry
If you’re looking to expand your 3D printing knowledge into a professional area, then you’ll also find 3D printing courses for industry, mass production, rapid prototyping, and even medical applications.
In essence, you’ll want to know where you want to expand your knowledge before diving in, or you may find yourself inundated with terms and information that may just make your head spin!
But don’t worry, we’ll break down what each course offers and when you should choose a specific one so you’ll know just where to get started.
3D Printing Classes: What are the Benefits?
Taking 3D printing classes helps you move on from standard printing the kinds of things anyone can download and create, helping you evolve your craft into more detailed and unique projects. A 3D printing course will also increase your understanding of the 3D printing world.
All-in-all, taking a 3D printing class will ensure you get the most out of your 3D printer, and who among us doesn’t want that?
Beyond personal benefits, proven understanding and even expertise in 3D printing is a marketable skill, being used for rapid prototyping in engineering fields as well as quick production of medical and dental tools and prosthetics.
If you’re a teacher looking to introduce 3D printing to your classroom, a 3D printing class will help you stay ahead of the curve and be confident that you’re passing on the right knowledge of something we’re now lucky enough to have as affordable home devices.
Gaining newer and better knowledge of 3D printing beyond what can be taught solo is an excellent idea for anyone who’s serious about taking their 3D printing to the next level or getting a running start. Either way, we’re going to look here at some of the best online 3D printing courses available online today.