Best Online 3D Printing Courses in 2017

3D printing has grown significantly over the past 20 years and is undoubtedly revolutionizing businesses and manufacturers are looking at future potential  and practices. The intensity with which additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) offers promise for change and micro-to-macro level integration of consumer and service, is almost threatening to the product-based industrial school of thought having been conceived with the first industrial revolution. For that purpose, we look at a few online courses, which we think offer great potential for budding careers and stable futures in the field of 3D printing. On a final note, before we dive into the list, many other tutorial based services, industry experts and specialists and other forms of learning exist, however it was our criteria to look at courses that balanced the ethics of technology with the pace of a nearly unprecedented number of pursuers. Have a read ahead.


 Udemy

Udemy has made quite a name for itself, having started as just an online database of lectures, workshop materials and other academic resources. Now, Udemy courses are recognized by accreditation institutes and what do you know, they have courses for 3D printing. And not just any course, all of their material is free of cost. Udemy happens to offer a free course in 3D printing basics which is a 40-min long video but well worth the time if you practice what they teach again and again. Along with this, Udemy also offers another advanced course which is about the same in length, but carries a small price tag with it. Trust us, compared to the other options, this is perhaps the most economical package considering the content packed inside.

View the course contents here.

Lynda

Lynda is not an unfamiliar name and well-deserved because of it's detailed inspection of each aspect of the course content. This is true for each and every one of Lynda's courses, as well as the ones on 3D printing. Starting from basic and going upto advance levels, the tutorials cover everything you need to know about the fundamental concepts that govern the application of 3D printing as well as the practices that help save time and resources in the long run. Each test case scenario as well as example, no matter how negligibly small, is presented with its working and elaborate explanation for a clear and transparent understanding of the technology. This however, also means that you have to be that detail-oriented in order to keep up with the pretty lengthy course videos. Free samples and workshop material is available, in the case you want some basic guidance to start you off, without any subsequent assistance or support.

View the course contents here.

ShapeWays

ShapeWays is perhaps best known for it's 3D printing services, but what few people realize is that it's actually a technology based solution center with a range of commercial and industrial services, one of which is training. Now, even though their training programs are meant for corporate clients, they do offer a huge number of resources for people looking for some free advice or assistance with their printing projects. ShapeWays also has the added advantage of free technical support (although limited obviously) meaning in the case you can't print your model, you can upload it to the ShapeWays portal and have the quote a price as well as the potential problems that you'll have to face when actually printing it.

View the course contents here.

Deloitte University Press

When it says university press, we know that this information is straight from the horses mouth. And the content speaks for itself, with degree programs and diploma programs all thrown into the mix. Apart from these, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) program offers a diverse material-base for helping students develop concepts, practices as well as the commercial applications of the developing technology. Free and on-demand courses exist along with paid alternatives.

View the course contents here.

Coursera

Finalizing this list off with the latest in developments and the most hefty-price tag we could find (a whopping ~USD400) made the most sense, because after all three industry-granddaddies came together in this one. Autodesk, Ultimaker and MakerLab went hand-in-hand and all-out with this specialization course meant for all kinds of students wishing to get adept with the core concepts of 3D printing as well as the practices common to industry. The great thing about this course, is the amount of work that they load you with, all in the effort of squeezing the most out of your printing potential. The support is great with hierarchial staff members available for all kinds of problems.

Since the program is online, you can set the whole course's pace as per your requirements and can tailor courses with the help of guidance counselors backed by the solid advice of industry-professionals. The whole package has been priced above, but individual courses cost roughly USD60 each making the full package the best option for those who can afford it (and are serious about pursuing a career in 3D printing).

View the course contents here.


Conclusion

There you have it, our selection of the top 5 online courses available in 2017 for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. As you can see, the list covers everything a newbie needs to start off, along with everything a pro or pro-like-hobbyist might want in order to boost his/her skill/career further along this road. It highlights the most common or accessible options that the institute/solution center has to offer but many alternatives (paid, campus based, morning/evening programs) exist along with many other providers. As always, no one size will fit all, hence try out the demo lectures and sample videos before making a full time commitment as online-based, independent studying is not exactly every persons cup of tea. Also, remember how we said “full-time” commitment? We'll that's because where online (especially from-home) study has its drawbacks, it has the advantage of allowing you to study and then continue working, without moving once the class is over. Make sure to squeeze every single second out of this time because the way technology is moving forward, a 3D printing revolution is closer than ever. Hit us back with what worked for you and why'd you recommend it to the rest of our readers.