3D Printing (Spokane County Library District)

What recommendations do you have for other facilitators who are using "3D Printing"? Consider sharing additional resources you found helpful, activities that worked particularly well, and some reflections on who this course is best suited for. For more information, see this course on P2PU’s course page.

@Dianne_Connery from Pottsboro Texas thinking of running a learning circle using Tinkercad. Any recommendations from those who have done it before? @grif @Susannah_Borysthen-T ?

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I have run two successful Learning Circles on the basics of Tinkercad, a free, web-based CAD program and a great place for beginners to start. Our library (Cambridge Public Library in MA) is fortunate to have access to Lynda.com, so we used the Lynda course “Learning Tinkercad.” However, the Tinkercad website has some perfectly good introductory video tutorials and guided projects that you could start with. You could supplement those with additional YouTube videos (there are so many of them!).

The groups who registered for these Learning Circles were pretty varied in age: from a retired math teacher, to young professionals in tech industries, to a mother/10-year-old son duo. Most of them were simply interested in learning a new skill, and because our library has a 3D printer, they were all able to submit a small print job by the end of the 4-week course. Let me know if you have any more questions! I’m happy to share.


Hi, we had planned to do about the same as Susannah^^, but unfortunately we had poor timing and promotion for our learning circle, and no one attended. We also regularly have 3D printing drop in hours at the library, so we may have already reached our target market through another means. My plan was to use a combination of the Lynda.com course and the Tinkercad tutorials though.

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Thanks for the information. We do have a 3D printer at the library, but I’ve just printed files from Thingiverse.

Could you help me with what a meeting looks like? Would the group watch a video tutorial together and then each person work in Tinkercad on their own computer for the duration of the class? And the next week watch another video as a group and then work independently? I’m picturing that the idea is that they are helping each other as questions come up.


Yes, we watched video tutorials (just a few minutes at a time) and then paused to practice on our own laptops. I also created a few “design challenges” for each class (Figure out how to create a cube with a hole through the middle, e.g.), and I invited members of the class to demonstrate their solutions for everyone. So, the takeaway is: if you are working from video tutorials, pause frequently to keep people engaged.

I like the idea of drop in hours. In addition to the learning circle. We’ll give that a try.

Perfect. This is exactly what I needed. Thanks

Are you able to share those weekly agendas that you made? Or did those come from Lynda? (I was actually a participant in this learning circle last March/April and I thought that it went really well!)

Yes! I’ll attach them here. @Dianne_Connery Of course, a lot of the information is specific to the Lynda course, but you’ll get a sense of how I structured the class, and you’ll be able to see the design exercises that we did together.3D Week 4.pdf (204.7 KB) 3D Week 3.pdf (257.2 KB) 3D Week 2.pdf (197.8 KB) 3D Week 1.pdf (98.6 KB)