3D Modeling for 3D Printing Tutorial

In the following six videos, Shapeways Designer Evangelist Lauren guides you through a simple project to turn a line sketch on paper into a 3D-printable file. This lesson uses Tinkercad, a browser-based modeling tool, and Photoshop CC.

More tutorials are online at


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix_CP3V7lZU]

This tutorial covers:
– Brief introduction to the history and applications of 3D printing
– Overview of how 3D printing works
– Review of design file types and formats


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-V6ZenHP0Q]

This tutorial covers:
– Draw or sketch your design with pen and paper
– Photograph your design and import to Photoshop
– Digitize your design in Photoshop by creating an outline


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF4-Pk7bNuQ]

This tutorial covers how to:
– Extrude a 3D model from a 2D file
– Prepare your model using basic 3D modeling tools
– Export your 3D model from Photoshop for use in Tinkercad


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSDhACnji5k]

This tutorial covers:
– Navigate and getting oriented in Tinkercad
– Basics of controlling and modifying 3D objects
– Rotate 3D models in your workplane


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOr6ozodtlM]

This tutorial covers:
– Import your 3D model as an STL file
– Scale and adjust your design
– Combine two shapes to create an articulated/interlocking design
– Design with the 3D printing material in mind (SLS nylon)
– Download 3D model for 3D printing


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjcpgY3MYm4]

This tutorial covers:
– The basics of how 3D printing service such as Shapeways works
– Review design guidelines of h3 & Flexible Plastic
– Upload & order your design


Tested In-Depth: Desktop 3D Scanning and 3D Printing

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZXlwxAe9co]

“We’ve been experimenting with home 3D printers for a while, but we now finally have a desktop 3D scanner at the office too! We test the new Matter and Form 3D scanner that digitizes any small object, generating a 3D model and file that we can then send over to our 3D printer. It’s like photocopying a real-world object!”

Originally published to YouTube by Tested on 25 September 2014.

3D Printing Cast Metals by Shapeways

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uxE_r9kEE8]

This video was first published to YouTube by Shapeways on 19 June 2014. (source)

Synopsis. Hear from designer Lucas Goossens about his design process for 3D printed Cast Metals. Factory technician Leon explains the multi-step production process for our 3D printed metals.

Further Reading

Learn more about the various metals:


Ekocycle 3D Printer Uses Post-Consumer Waste

Originally published to YouTube by 3D Systems on Jun 16, 2014. (source)

Synopsis. will.i.am introduces the EKOCYCLE Cube 3D printer. The EKOCYCLE Cube is not just another tool for making, it is a revolutionary tool for RE-making, and encourages and helps us to change the way we think about recycling by transforming post-consumer waste into new and beautiful objects.


3D Printed Gold by Shapeways

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCyYf8lUqqs]

Video first published to YouTube by Shapeways on Apr 25, 2014.

Welcome to the golden age of 3D printing: introducing 14 carat gold to the Shapeways materials family.

This video highlights the hand-polishing process that gives our designers’ products their beautiful high shine.

Like all of Shapeways cast metals (silver, bronze, brass), your designs are 3D printed in wax. The wax model is used to make a plaster mold for casting, and is made through traditional casting, hand-finished processes. With 3D printing, jewelers, designers and makers can design intricacies and geometries that are not possible through traditional mold making.

To learn more about 3D printing jewelry, visit:



MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer (Fifth Generation Model)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU9v71o5Udk]

Synopsis. MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis introduces the fifth generation MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, now available at http://www.makerbot.com/replicator. This video was first published to YouTube on 6 January 2014. (source)


3D Printing in Animatronics: Easton LaChappelle at TEDxMileHigh

This video was first published to YouTube on Jul 15, 2013. (source)

Synopsis. “How is 3D printing changing the future of prosthetic and animatronic limbs? Tinkering with this new technology 17-year old inventor Easton LaChappelle is creating robotic limbs with strength and dexterity beyond human, and will create new models for custom prosthetics in the not-so-distant future.”

Further Reading


TEDxYouth: Easton LaChappelle – Prosthetics and technology revolution

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdxSZwxtg8Q]

Originally published to YouTube on May 10, 2013.

Synopsis. What do you get when you combine prosthetics and 3D printing? In this inspiring talk, 17-year old Easton LaChappelle shows us how he has been using new technologies to print and build cheaper, customizable prosthetics that could change millions of lives.


4D Printing: Self Assembling and Self Adaptive Materials

Skylar Tibbits: The emergence of “4D printing” – 3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s; TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract. Originally published to YouTube on Apr 4, 2013.


Introduction to 3D Printers: The Promise and Pitfalls of Desktop Manufacturing

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTCIlO0oLP8]

Synopsis. Home 3D printers are getting more affordable every year. But they still require lots of troubleshooting, practice, and patience. Here’s the state of modern 3D printing, based on our experience with four generations of MakerBots. Watch this video if you’re just getting started with 3D printing or just curious about exactly what the process entails. First published to YouTube on 27 March 2013.