13 Best Online Courses and Tutorials to Learn About CAD and 3D Printing

 |  Ron Stefanski

13 Best Online Tutorials for CAD and 3D Printing

Anyone can learn about CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) and print in 3D like a pro. However, knowing where to find the best courses or tutorials is a whole different story. If you are looking to learn about 3D modeling and 3D printing, you’re in luck. This article outlines 12 of the best online courses and tutorials that will teach you how to use CAD software to model, draw, and print in 3D.

Some online courses, classes, and training programs outlined below are free, while others cost money. Some offer certification, while others do not. Not all of these can be found on the same online course platform, so you will have to use different channels to access this content. 

Whatever you’re looking for, there is certain to be at least one course on this list that fits both your needs and budget.

1.  Interactive Tutorials of SelfCAD

Course Creator: SelfCAD University

Duration: Varies

Price: Free

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Tutorials: 

While this post breaks down specific courses, it’s worth noting that the interactive tutorials at SelfCAD are one of the best ways to learn 3D modeling.  These tutorials separate themselves from the rest of the field because they require you to interact with the content and perform actions to achieve results within the courses themselves.  

What You Will Learn:

  • Creating 3D patterns in CAD
  • How each tool of SelfCAD works
  • How to draw in 3D
  • Making vector illustrations
  • Turning images into 3D designs
  • Learn low poly modeling
  • Learning by actual doing

2. Introduction to 3D Printing

Course Creator: Lauren Slowik

Duration: 1h 5m

Price: Free

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course: 

This course, which is offered on Skillshare, provides an easy start to your first 3D design. Aimed at students who want to gain a basic knowledge of 3D printing, this is an excellent introductory course where you will learn the fundamentals of 3D printing and how to design your own 3D models and produce them.

What You Will Learn:

3. Getting Started with 3D Printing

Course Creator: Justin Mitchel

Duration: 1h

Price: $13.99

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

This course currently has over 18,890 students. It's offered on Udemy for just $13.99 (limited time offer). When you sign up for this course, you get 44 minutes of on-demand e-learning video, full lifetime access, access on mobile and TV, and a certification of completion. 

The course will teach you everything you need to know about 3D printing or additive manufacturing, where you can build real objects using 3D electronic devices based on CAD models.

What You Will Learn:

  • The basics of creating 3D models for building real-world objects
  • Autodesk 123DMake basics
  • OpenSCAD basics (3D model code)
  • How to prototype products
  • How to build functional everyday objects from your home or office

4. 3D Printing: From Start to Finish

Course Creator: Kevin Volo

Duration: 5.5 hours

Price: $13.99

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

If you want to learn the basic principles of 3D printing, then this course is for you. In it, you'll learn all the different stages of 3D printing, including ways to get the best print and how to use slicers, as well as different ways for finishing your prints. By the end of the course, you’ll know all the technical parts involved in the 3D printing process so you can navigate any challenges you might encounter when starting out. 

The course includes five and a half hours of on-demand video and 3 articles, and total lifetime access on mobile and TV. You also get a certificate upon completion of the course.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to choose the right FDM printer for your needs
  • Understanding how an FDM 3D printer works
  • How to use "slicing" software for your 3D printer
  • Techniques for finishing and painting your 3D prints
  • Free resources to 3D files for your printer

5. Learning 3D Printing

Course Creator: Kacie Hultgren

Course Duration: 1h 17m

Price: $49.99

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

If you are ready to explore the world of 3D printing, this course on LinkedIn Learning may be precisely what you need. While it is the most expensive course on the list, you only have to make a one-time payment and don’t have to worry about any variable expenses. Additionally, this course is certainly worth every penny. In it, you will learn everything about digital fabrication to help you take your ideas and turn them into reality. 

By the end of the course, you'll be able to introduce rapid prototyping workflows within your business. You’ll also know how to create custom 3D printer products. In addition to all that, you’ll learn some of the best practices for using this fast-expanding technology in order to get the best results possible.

What You Will Learn:

  • Discovery of 3D printing
  • An introduction of 3D printing technology
  • Design fundamentals of 3D printing
  • Understanding different types of 3D software

6. Complete Beginner’s Guide to 3D Printing

Course Creator: Teaching Tech

Duration: 24m

Price: Free

About the Course:

This course is designed for beginners who want to learn about the basics of 3D printing. It's perfect for anyone who has just bought their first printer. Created by Teaching Tech, this course will teach you all the essentials of 3D printing, including the assembly process of a 3D printer, how the printer works, and the different technical features you must be aware of. 

You’ll also learn the process for leveling the bed and how to use slicing software to convert 3D models into a language that’s easily understood by a 3D printer.

What You Will Learn:

  • The basics of 3D printing
  • The assembly process of a 3D printer
  • The tables and the mainboard of a 3D printer
  • How the Bowden-style extruder works
  • How to adjust carriages and belts on a different axis

7. TinkerCAD Tutorial Series

Course Creator: PromoAmbitions

Duration: 120 minutes

Price: Free

About the Course:

Tinkercad is a free browser-based computer-aided design (CAD) software. It's beneficial for helping you learn everything you need to know about the basics of 3D design. Although it's not as powerful as other software like Fusion 360, it's certainly good enough for beginners to get some great-looking, functional 3D prints

According to many online reviews from users, this course offers the best value of all free and paid Tinkercad courses out there. It's taught methodically, making it super easy (even for complete beginners) to understand.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to navigate Tinkercad's interface
  • Learn how to create objects
  • Adjust an object’s size
  • How to create complex 3D objects
  • How to see your 3D design in "blocks" mode

8.  Fusion 360 For 3D Printing 2021

Course Creator: Austen Hartley

Duration: 3h 47m

Price: Free

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

This course is designed for beginners and learners of intermediate level. It will teach you everything you need to know about Fusion 360, a free design software for creating 3D models. 

When you're done with the 25 lessons in this course, you'll know how to create your own awesome 3D designs. The amount of content offered in this course is way more than most other courses in the same category, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about CAD and 3D printing.

What You Will Learn:

  • Introduction to Fusion 360
  • All the tools you need to design and print in 3D
  • The 3D design and printing process
  • Introduction to tolerances
  • The Mandalorian design

9. Foundations of Blender: Jewelry Design in 3D

Course Creator: Gesa Pickbrenner

Duration: 2h 19m

Price: Free

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

Created by Gesa Pickbrenner, a jewelry artist and designer, this course will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a jewelry designer or designing your jewelry. The course is offered on Skillshare, and in it, you will learn about the intricacies of jewelry rendering and 3D printer preparation in Blender.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to create a perfect piece of jewelry using the different techniques from top jewelers that you can emulate in the 3D world. Whether you have a bit of experience or you're a complete beginner in 3D design, the lessons in this course will provide you with all the information you need to become your own jewelry designer. 

What You Will Learn

  • The foundations of Blender
  • Creating and inserting the sketch
  • Sculpting a diamond
  • Materials, light, background, and settings
  • Print preparation and final adjustments

10. CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization

Course Creator: Autodesk

Duration: 6 months

Price: Free (with Coursera Plus $49/month)

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About This Course:

This course was created by Autodesk and is offered on Coursera. It will teach you the foundations of product innovation, digital manufacturing, and more. 

Through this specialization, you will be able to develop your technical skills using Fusion 360. This is a series of courses that will take you roughly 6 months to complete, after which you will receive an Autodesk credential, which includes a digital badge and certificate to add to your resume. In short, this course will help you uniquely skyrocket your professional development skills.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to use Fusion 360 to design a drone for manufacturing
  • How to connect projects in CAD, CAE, and CAM
  • Exercises in 3D modeling, rendering, and simulation
  • The basics of computer-aided manufacturing

11. 3D Printing Applications

Course Creator: University of Illinois

Duration: 20h

Price: Free

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

This is yet another excellent course offered on Coursera. It focuses on helping you learn the concepts of 3D printing using multiple real-world applications. Once you sign up for this curriculum, you'll start learning how to clarify 3D printing compatibility in multiple domains, including architecture, retailing, and manufacturer. 

You will get a demonstration of the 3D printing process, including customization techniques, printing complex pieces, and self-alignment of different items. By the end of the course, you will fully understand 3D technology and how you can use it for various purposes.

What You Will Learn:

  • In-depth knowledge of 3D printing applications
  • An overview of 3D printing in different industries
  • Analysis of real-world scenarios for establishing 3D printing technology
  • Various designing methods to transform ideas into real-world digital objects

12. 3D CAD Fundamental

Course Creator: National Taiwan University

Duration: 9 hours

Price: $39.00

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

This course is aimed at people with little to no experience using CAD. It will teach you the foundational skills for CAD modeling using SketchUp. By the end of the course, even complete beginners with no prior knowledge of how to use CAD will have enough skills to get started creating 3D models. 

It's a great way to ease your way into learning about CAD modeling without being overly stressed about the process. The videos are short, with practical examples and activities, making this course perfect for all aspiring CAD users.

What You Will Learn:

  • Introduction to SketchUp
  • Example of Magic Cube
  • Getting familiar with [Move] and [Arcs]

13. Beginner 3D Printing Class

Course Creator: John A-Tron

Price: Free

online tutorials for CAD and 3D printing

About the Course:

Last on our list is the Beginner 3D Printing Class. This course, offered on Instructables.com, is a free workshop where you can learn everything you need to know about designing and printing your own 3D pieces. The lessons cover various topics, including tools and materials used in 3D printing, Fusion 360 orientation, stamp projects, and the process of setup and printing. 

By the end of this course, you should be able to create your own 3D designs and have a firm understanding of desktop 3D printing. One unique feature of this course is that it uses webinar hosting software to create 3 webinars. The first one includes a live demo of the stamp project. Another webinar covers the sculpt tools and Fusion 360. The third webinar demonstrates the more complex modeling process and mechanical joints.

What You Will Learn:

  • Tools and materials for 3D printing
  • Fusion 360 orientation
  • Complete a project to create a wax seal stamp
  • Understand the process to set up and print
  • Assess your grasp on topics with engaging quizzes and assignments 

So, Which CAD and 3D Printing Course Will You Take? 

The 12 options outlined above are our hand-picked compilation of some of the best online courses, tutorials, and certifications available right now.  Choose a course from these recommendations and get started learning about CAD and 3D printing today.

Do you find any of these courses appealing? Let us know which one you're considering in the comments section below! 


About the Author

BIO

As a website entrepreneur and marketing professor, Ron Stefanski strives to help people create and market their own online business with his blog that reaches over 100,000 people each month.  You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com

You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.


Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

Need to learn 3D modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.

Was this blog post interesting or helpful?

SelfCAD is an online CAD and 3D design software

It uses the latest JavaScript features. Please pick a newer browser. Examples are listen below.