Matching the Right Design (CAD) Software to Your 3D Printing Classroom

The new school season has started and, along with it, more growth in 3D modeling classes in schools nationwide. Young students are being taught how to get good orientation in 3D space, they learn volume and basic objects, and work on their designs and prints. 3D modeling classes develop engineering and artistic skills and definitely bring excitement to a classroom.

To have a good lesson plan it’s important to choose the right tool. Everyone would like to work on a user-friendly intuitive software being both easy to learn and teach. But in reality it can be difficult to find the right software for your students to work with. Commonly 3D modeling software has very limited functionality when it comes to 3D printable models. So installation of additional slicing software is an unfortunate must. There also should be an option to collect, group, evaluate and review the projects.

When it comes to 3D modeling classes, you can find a really long list of different 3D editors to use. How to choose the best one for your 3D modeling classes?

In Elementary School

In elementary schools 3D modeling classes include basic principles of orientation in 3D space, learning basic shapes, making simple models from given basic shapes. The leading positions as most-used software for youngest students are held by MakersEmpire and TinkerCAD. Colorful UI grabs attention, big icons make the toolbar very clear for complete beginners. Creating objects from given basic shapes is also an important feature to use in elementary schools.

When it comes to software limitations, lack of advanced tools should be mentioned on the first place. Software designed to create simple things simply cannot be used for complex and detailed objects. Possibility of creating 3D models using only basic shapes also limits students when it comes to artistic and complex objects.

In High School

3D modeling classes in high schools contain more skill developing elements, as students work on more complex tasks and learn 3D printing technology. The software used in elementary schools is no longer a solution, since not all the necessary features can be found there. Professional tools are also a miss there, developed for precise professional usage 3D modeling giants like Solidworks are widely used not only amongst professionals, but also in universities, but for high school students it may be just too tough. In high schools the combination of a user-friendly design and advanced tools is the best solution.