I have known about 3D printing for a long time, and we had one at the University but I never had call to use it. Last year my son and daughter-in-law bought one, primarily for Gem’s Concrete Gems. I was mulling over challenges for 2019 and I thought learning to use 3D printing software would be something challenging and potentially useful. I had a look at courses on offer and Coursera’s “The 3D Printing Revolution” came up as good place to start. This was a short course (nominally 2 weeks – 12 hours) and started immediately. When I was first involved in MOOCs I thought short courses, without a fixed start date were a bad idea, but the world has changed and this suited me!
The course was in 3 parts:
- Module 1: What Is 3D Printing?
- Module 2: Why Is It Revolutionary?
The Orientation, indicated the course wasn’t very social with only 12 responses, but then I wasn’t here to be social.
Module 2 had lots of examples of the uses of 3D printing. I was only auditing the course so wasn’t intending to do any assignments. But the Week 2 peer reviewed project was to look at Thingiverse and to find something to remix, and remix it. I hunted around and found something I liked and remixed. I then asked Gemma to print it for me, the print wasn’t successful as my object fell off its raft! And so outside the course I was introduced to the world of Cura. After a second attempt, this time with supports, and a bit more work I had a usable crochet hook! This exercise really got me hooked on thinking what I could design and print.
All in all this was an excellent course. I would recommend it to anyone wanting an introduction to the potential of 3D printing. My only gripes are minor:
- The course was produced in 2015 (I think) it would benefit from an update – especially when talking about what might happen in the next 5 years.
- Some of the inline questions/polls were a bit leading.