This page will be used by the class to post resources relevant to the various techniques for #digitalmaking that we will learn in the course. Please share the resources using the #digitalmaking tag on twitter and we will aggregate them here.



Ultimaker (Resources Needed)

MakerBot Replicator 2

We have removed the Replicators from the lab, so these resources are less relevant for class.

Getting started with the Replicator 2 printer (From, requires UIUC login)

  1. Loading Filament
  2. Leveling the Build Plate
  3. Using Makerbot Desktop to prepare your Model
    1. Explore the Makerbot Desktop
    2. Orient your design on the platform
    3. Printing your model
    4. Remove your model
  4. Slicing your model (settings and some Pro-tips)
    1. Structure of a 3D Print
    2. When to use Rafts
    3. When to use Supports
    4. Understanding Resolution
    5. Choosing Shells and Infill

Makerbot Replicator 2 Tutorials (youtube – public access)



Tinkercad is an easy-to-use 3D CAD design tool. Quickly turn your idea into a CAD model for a 3D printer with Tinkercad. There is no installation required, everything happens in your browser. That is the best way to start designing your own 3d objects!

Fusion 360

Install Fusion 360

Video Tutorials that help you understand and design your own objects in Fusion 360

Open Scad



Making Resources on Campus

  • Art + Design 3D Digital Output Lab: The 3D Digital Output Lab has a wider variety of 3D printers. In addition to 4 PLA Makerbot Replicator 2 printers, this labs also has ABS plastic printers and an FDM Stratasys Dimension 3-D printer. This is a good resource for use by Industrial Design students when printers at the MakerLab are busy.
    Restrictions: Restricted to students registered in one or more Art & Design course(s) who have paid the facilities fee of $95 per term. Students not enrolled in a course requiring a facilities fee may request access online. Equipment is used through consultation with on-site operator during
    open hours.
    Location: Room 311 Art + Design Building
    Hours: See website for updated hours
  • MechSE Rapid Prototyping Lab: If your design requires a higher quality print than what is possible in the other labs, the MechSE Rapid Prototyping Lab is equipped with 3D printing machines that provide higher quality prints, larger print sizes, and a wide variety of print materials including high strength materials and even flexible material. Visit the page below to view the different printers and descriptions of the materials you can print:
    https: //
    Restrictions: Due to the quality of these printers and their use in a number of research projects as well as classes, access to these machines is not as easy as the other options.
    How to Use: In order to use these machines you must submit a part fabrication request. Once you have your 3D file ready in a .stl format, log into the system using your AD account credentials at the link below and submit your request.
    Rate for Illinois Student: The cost of printing is much greater than the MakerLab or the 3D Output Labs. Costs will vary based on the size and material you choose to print in.


  • Illinois MakerLab : The Makerlab has the Sense Scanner and the Structure scanner (Ipad mounted) which are good enough for most object/person scans.
    How to Use: Just come by the Lab during open hours and speak to a Guru.
  • Art + Design 3D Output Lab: The Art + Design’s 3D Output Lab also has equipment for low to mid-quality 3D scanning using either a NextEngine 3D scanner or a Kinect 3D scanner.
    Restrictions: Restricted to students  who have paid the facilities fee of $95 per term.
    How to Use: Speak with a lab assistant in Room 311 of the Art + Design Building for more information.
    Location: Room 311 of the Art + Design Building
  • UIUC Visualization Laboratory: If you require  very high-resolution 2D or 3D object scan, the Visualization Laboratory has state-of-the-art hardware and software options. Consult the equipment pages for detailed information. Research staff are on hand to teach and aid you. Due to the probably excessive quality, high cost, and exhaustive process of using this service for 3D scanning, this option should only be perused when your project relies on the highest quality 3D scan. In most cases the other options should suite your needs for this class.How to Use:
    Rates for Illinois Student:



Courtesy of Lois Holman:

“This article gives you a good summary of what kind are ok, and what you absolutely should not try to laser cut:”

Confused about filaments

The link below features Filaments.Directory, A website that satisfies all of your filaments need. You can read a little about them below or go directly to the Filaments.Directory website.

Creating Assemblies With Autodesk

Top 5 Free STL editors, to prepare your model for 3D printing

Design as an Iterative Process

David Kelley, IDEO, believes that how quickly you create an initial prototype is directly proportional to how successful a product will be. Essentially, given a set project deadline, the earlier you invite feedback, the more chances you have to revise and improve. He calls this “enlightened trial and error.



Tips to get started on your product idea