3D modeling can be overwhelming when you first start out and it can be hard to know where to begin.
Plan your model
Sketching ideas on paper can be a quick and easy way to visualize your 3D model. 3D modelling can be a slow process and you can end up wasting hours if you change your idea halfway through.
Keep it Simple
Keeping your first design simple is a good way to get used to your tools. If you try something overly complex you may be put off all together. You will be surprised how much you can make only by using simple geometry.
Use online repositories
Online repositories hold vast amounts of free 3D models. It is always wourth checking these first in case what you need is already available to download, this can save you a lot of time. Please see our 'Free 3D Models' page.
Check Lynda.com for tutorials, here is one for getting started with TinkerCAD: https://www.lynda.com/Tinkercad-tutorials/Learning-Tinkercad/641564-2.html
Learn how to optimize common design features - such as bridges, overhangs, pins and vertical axis holes - for FDM 3D printing using the following Guide: https://www.3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/designing-parts-fdm-3d-printing
The Guide was created by 3DHubs in collaboration with Stanford University - Engineering Department.
Models for 3D printing must be ‘watertight’ i.e. the mesh does not have missing sections and is continuous. For example deleting faces (geometry) can cause this problem.
In a .STL file, the model surface is rendered as a series of polygons. The more detail, the smaller the polygons. BUT the printer can only handle a limited number of polygons.
If you are unsure about the mesh you have, please feel free to email us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.