Designing your own 3D printed parts is a skill that every person who owns a printer should have or be actively acquiring. The power to design exactly what you want feels incredible when you actually have it, and the lack of those skills is incredibly frustrating when they present themselves.

Noe Ruiz over at Adafruit has an ongoing educational series called “Layer by Layer”. If you skim back through the playlist, there are over 40 videos about designing for 3D printing.

Starting with Autodesk 123D, Noe introduced several methods and processes for designing parts that look good, print well, and function as they were designed to. For example, here is a tutorial on how to design a D-Pad for standard 6mm momentary switches.

As you progress further into the channel, there is a shift from the simpler Autodesk 123D to the more robust Autodesk Fusion 360. I’ve personally been learning a lot from the series that is currently happening where Noe is redesigning and refining cases for the Raspberry Pi Zero as a gaming system called PiGRRL.



As you can see, it is a fairly long series. Though you could use this to follow along and design the PiGRRL on your own, really this is more of a rich source of tips and tricks. As he goes through this, he’s explaining all the steps he takes to get things to work correctly, and those little tips are where the real value lies.

Be sure to check these out as they are broadcast live on Wednesday mornings.