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Learner Reviews & Feedback for 3D Printing Software by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

531 ratings

About the Course

This course will demonstrate how to use 3D printing software to create digital designs that can be turned into physical objects. It will also demonstrate how 3D scanners work to turn physical objects into digital designs. This course is hands-on in nature and will provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through two popular 3D modeling programs, Tinkercad and Fusion 360. Learners who complete this course will be able to use 3D software to design a wide variety of objects for both personal and professional use. In addition, learners who enroll in the course certificate will receive extended free access to Fusion 360 (provided by Autodesk). Please copy/paste the following links to your browser's search bar to view the requirements for each of the following software elements used in this course: Sketchbook: Tinkercad: Autodesk Fusion 360: Sketchfab: 123D Catch: Same as Tinkercad...

Top reviews


Mar 22, 2018

This is the best course I have made on this year. This course give to you a chance to create objects from reality or just using your imagination. Enjoy this course, guys. Thank you for all.


Mar 30, 2017

Excellent course , i finally learned how to use Fusion 360 and make something that can be 3D printed , i also learned about 3D scanning techniques .

enjoy this course , best of luck :)

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1 - 25 of 121 Reviews for 3D Printing Software

By J. C C

May 27, 2018

Is this an educational course or an advertisement for Autodesk? You will only experience and be told of Autodesk products: Sketchbook, Tinkercad, and Fusion 360. No other design programs are mentioned much less compared and contrasted. No mention of Illustrator (vs Sketchbook), OpenSCAD (vs Tinkercad) or Solidworks (vs Fusion 360). Set up in this manner, it shouldn't require a $79 Coursera fee given that this is setup to capture new students into Autodesk's product line. Meshmixer is an Autodesk product and oddly isn't even mentioned, despite being widely used in the 3D printing community.

The course is overly focused on free-flowing design. Despite being a 3D-design class made to be embedded in the 3D printing industry, you never have a video or assignment that has you make a part or item to specified measurements. This is a real gap in the teachings; I would argue to have replaced Week 4 on sculpting with a module on adding dimensions and locking relationships and measurements (lengths, angles) between parts and components.

The class instructor, Jeff Smith, has never responded to a forum post or question in the history of the class. The fifth week of class is taught by a student rather than industry expert and he is not given teaching credit. The sixth week is empty and is used to pad the course up to the 6-week, $79 fee scale.

Two weeks of focus on Fusion 360 is insufficient given the amount of content the instructor is teaching in the videos. For new modelers, a week on sculpting feels like too much; it's nice to make pretty shapes (starships/bicycle seats), but what about shapes needing defined precision? It would be great to learn to build two gears from scratch that turn with one another. If instructor disagrees with this philosophy, at the least it would be great to use sculpt tools to make a specific item with the sculpt having some sort of goal. Making free shapes is easier but less useful after taking this class. All or nearly all of the sculpted shapes you will make would be very, very difficult to print.

Time is wasted on learning rendering - after all, this class is focused on 3D printing, not sales or marketing (the reasons the instuctor gave for using rendering).

Additional issues are below:

Course is unorganized and outdated.

- Example 1: even though this is a recent class, the Autodesk product videos are outdated. The software used by the instructor is a different version with commands in different locations. This increases the difficulty in learning. For instance, in the Create menu, primatives have swapped places with basic functions.

-Example 2: 123D Catch is no longer a product that we can use - why is there still a video teaching this in the syllabus? Why hasn't this teaching been updated? This product was taken off market a year and a half ago and still the syllabus is outdated. In the text, they state for you to download software which is not free and requires purchase (Trnio for iOS).

- Example 3: in Week 3's videos, Smith demonstrates the bottom component being grounded, but not the top component. In the homework, we are instructed to take off points if the top component isn't grounded as well - all the other students I graded got this wrong (as did I).

- Example 4: in Week 3's assignment, it says it is worth 14% of the grade. However, the syllabus says it's worth 30% of the grade.

- Example 5: T-splines are discussed heavily in Week 4 but are never defined or explained. There is a glossary entry with a link to explain T-splines; the link has been invalid since January 2017. Even splines are not defined or explained, much less T-splines.

- Example 6: Material is presented out of order. For instance, the move triad is described in Week 4 but really needs to be introduced in Week 3 when you start using Fusion 360 for the first time.

- Example 7: Lack of organization adds to existing issues of current grading system. For example, the instructions for Week's assignment says, "For this first objective, you need to build a design that uses all 6 of the primitive tools, 5 times each (box, cylinder, torus, sphere, pipe)". We are instructed to use six different tools from a list of five tools. Some students grade for five, some for six, because of the inconsistency in our instructions.

- Example 8: Every submission for Week 4 I graded was flawed; the instructor has not taught students about resolving impossible geometries. All the submissions I graded were still stuck in Sculpt mode. When exiting Sculpt, Fusion 360 would identify impossible geometries, remove them, and leave the remaining items intact that do not violate topology. This means that no assignment I graded had the minimum number of shapes - if students thought they needed 12 shapes to grade, they would make 12, but 2-4 would be impossible. Since no student I graded understood this, I suggest this is a failing of the class/instructor.

Failure of student grading system, which adds to stress when paying for the class:

- Lack of student graders when turned in on time (see multitude of forum posts asking for previous week's assignments to be graded.) Typically, students not paying for the course do not volunteer to grade assignments.

- Some students are unable to open traditional graphic image files (e.g., TIFFs) in this 3D modeling class. They flag your submission which adds to the grading probem. Another student did not understand that to peer-grade assignments, he would need to be able to copy and paste URLs / site addresses (or as an excuse to not grade). There needs to be a prerequiste statement that students are expected to be able to use basic web tools and browsers, able to open typical graphic formats, etc. The instructor could help reduce this by allowing hyperlinks in all, not some, of the student answers.

- Your fellow students grading you are obviously not subject-matter experts and do not have any more expertise or experience than you do. Regardless, they grade your material and individuals will often misunderstand and score things incorrectly.

- If you have one of these issues, you're really on your own. You can post in the forum for help but neither the instructor nor Coursera will provide assistance.

By Nick S

Feb 11, 2017

This course introduced me to the different software tools that can be used for 3D Printing. I recommend this course, as well as this specialization, to anyone interested in 3D Printing.

By Scott L

Sep 19, 2018

Great course. I enjoyed learning new skills. I learned allot about 3D computer modeling. I applied what I learned at my job and created a number of tools and assembly fixtures.

By David M d S

Mar 23, 2018

This is the best course I have made on this year. This course give to you a chance to create objects from reality or just using your imagination. Enjoy this course, guys. Thank you for all.

By Maged Z C

Jun 15, 2018

A simple and intensive course to take you strongly to the heart of the best designing softwares. A great course for both professional designers as well as the beginners.

By Robert G

May 18, 2020

Great course. The way the instructors explain step by step is very good. I learned new ways on how to take my ideas and turn them into something.

By Bhaumik U P

Dec 15, 2018

In the midst, the software uploading part was somewhat problematic, hopefully, due to some technical issues, however, overall it was great!

By Steven V R

Jan 21, 2018

Enjoyed the course and learned a lot on how to model using Fusion 360. Not sure why course 4 on 3D Printer Hardware is not being offered.

By Darrell W

Dec 20, 2021

While I quite liked the course itself and it familiarized me with wildly useful tools, the peer review process being broken became more apparent as the course went on. I feel many students were not taking the course in good faith. This reflected in many assignments being posted blank, woefully incomplete, or as copied and pasted definitions from google. I feel the actual content of the course is too good to be locked in such a system and hope the upcoming updates to coursera policy can improve this situation. I tried to flag as many of these as possible. But since flagging does not count as a completed peer review and I require a minimum of 3 completed peer reviews to complete the course I sometimes simply gave a 0 instead. I feel that being able to both flag an assignment and have it count as reviewed would help until enough people are taking the course sincerely at all times. Currently, for this course more so than the earlier ones in the specialization, the spammers outnumber those taking the course seriously.

By Aaron T A

Sep 16, 2017

course needs to be updated. The apps suggested for scanning no longer work.

By Youssef A Z Z

Sep 9, 2020

I was expecting to learn about the software in used in the 3d printer itself not 3D modeling and 3d scanning

By Nima G M

Oct 19, 2020

This course is really beneficial for me. It starts with how to sketch 2d shapes in Autodesk SketchBook, which, in my opinion, is a great alternative for paint, because it provides the users to draw straight lines and isometric as well as perspective cubes. In using the Sketchbook software, be sure to use the Draw Style tab to draw a straight line, regular rectangle, and regular circle. Also, use the Perspective Guides (P) tab to draw a perspective and isometric cube. The guides control the directions to which the mouse pointer is going to draw.

Next, it learns how to use TINKERCAD, which is free software, like SketchBook. Actually, it is very enjoyable when we use free software like these ones.

Then, I could learn how to start with Fusion 360, which is one of the most-used software in the 3D Printing industry, and it is also used for CAD/CAM projects greatly as well.

Lastly, the students could learn how to scan a 3d real-world part using even their smartphone. In doing so, one of the android apps I find useful is SCANN3D. It is to be mention that finding good software by which we can create an object from images was very hard. After finding SCANN3D, and trying 3 times, lastly, I succeeded to make an object. You must be a photographer and don't take pictures unless you are aware of attention to the direction of focus and light direction.

By Lionel M

Jan 26, 2018

The course is great. At times it seemed like an autodesk promo, (which i found highly irritating at the time) especially when showing us features of the sketch program that are only available on paid versions, (but having student downloads of autodesk programs has also made me warm to them and feel very grateful). I really enjoyed the work with fusion 360 -a real eye-opener.

The whole thing is little bit frustrating as we clash with the real world and economic limitations. But on the whole, there are great clues in the course to progressing and the course is well worth the time.

Thank you!

By Akbar P

Aug 22, 2017

This course has been phenomenal. Initially it was quite challenging and I certainly had my fair share of frustrations trying to get a hang of Fusion 360. However, by the end of this course it has been quite a rewarding experience. I've learnt pretty much during the last few weeks that I've been working on 3D printing software course. I very much hope that the hardware course is released ASAP so I could proceed with the 3D printing specialization. Thanks!

By Fred J F

Jan 15, 2017

I wanted to give only 4 stars because of the all the “problems” we encountered, but then we are learners investigating problem solving by design thinking. We can handle whatever comes, so the fifth star is for us. We are shaping this course by contributing to forums. Presumably we are ten thousand strong, let’s improve our worldwide voice by saying something on forms so we can get what we need and want we want also to stay on the cutting edge of reality.

By Vinayak J

Jun 23, 2018

Sir Jeff progressed the whole course in neat and easy way.3D printing software carries a deep aspect involved in additive manufacturing technology.It represented several good things to practice such as Fusion360, Tinkercad, 3DScanning and delivered the art of building a learner into maker.Thank You!

By Shirley

Jul 26, 2022

Excellent course for anyone interested in design and 3d printing, well laid out course content and Superb teaching session & resources with access to necessary software downloads. I personally enjoyed every session and lecture.

By Thian Q Z

Jan 24, 2021

This course has deepened my knowledge and skills in 3D printing, especially reverse engineering by using 3D scanning technologies. Excellent course! Highly recommend for students and engineers who wish to venture into this field.

By johannes n

Jan 16, 2020

A well structured and designing course. Designing, sculpting, proto types designing and drawing light up course. With focused skilled process. I enjoyed and learnt a lot .Thank you for this opportunity.

By Ali S

Feb 17, 2020

It was an exciting experience that I benefited from and learned a lot as a Coursera, which is a very important source of learning.

Thank you all for the great efforts that made me love learning.

By Haad A

Nov 14, 2020

This course has really amazing given me in-depth of the software which I don't know like a sketchbook, 3D scanning. Highly recommended for the 3D printing enthusiastics.

By Fernando D

Oct 19, 2018

This is the best online class that I have ever taken. Very informative, and with a lots of hands on exercises. It will require more than the 9.5 hrs announced

By Kunal B A

May 10, 2019

good course for learning how to design a model for 3D printing. the teacher is teaching very clearly and good sort of knowledge is provided.

By shubham c

Dec 29, 2017

Thanks to all the sponsors and Coursera for providing these course. looking forward for more such courses please add more.



By Javier E

Jan 16, 2018

Great introduction to several 3D Printing Software like TinkerCad, Fusion 360, PhotoScan, etc. Good overview of 3D scanning methods.