CAD Software Tutorial

Tentative Part Developers

If you are just getting started with developing your own 3D parts, or want to try 3D printing but haven’t decided on anything to make yet, here are some resources for you.

  1. Thingiverse is a great database of open source designs. You can use your makerbot account to sign in. Browse the ranks of their parts, and download any that you’re interested in.
  2. If you’re interested in making your own parts, but aren’t quite sure where to start, you can check out TinkerCAD. This is an online design software. Once you make an account, you can access it and your designs from anywhere! To get started, you can follow the tutorial in TinkerCAD.

A few things to keep in mind as you’re using these awesome softwares and websites:

Make sure that the files that you download are in .stl format, which is compatible with the Makerbot Print software. If you want to make sure they’re a nice resolution (with smooth edges), you can follow these instructions.

When you’re all ready to go, check out the Makerbot Print Tutorial to set up your part for printing!

Enthusiastic Part Developers

Do you have a little bit of experience with TinkerCAD and Thingiverse, but you’re itching to build your own parts from scratch?

If you have Windows or a Windows partition on your laptop, you can download Solidworks by following this tutorial from WSE IT. If you don’t have much space on your laptop, don’t worry! You can use Solidworks on any of our computers in the makerspace. To get started, simply double click the icon on the desktop and select the new button icon in the upper left corner of the window. You can select the start tutorial button, and you’re off to the races! If you are having issues with Solidworks, or aren’t sure how to design a part, the resource center on their website is a great tool to use.

Some other great free 3D modeling softwares are Fusion 360 and Mesh Mixer, which you can download from the internet!