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What kind of models to use for a beginner's class?

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Hi everyone,

What kind of 3D models would you recommend for a beginner's class of 3D software?

I will be giving CAD courses later this year, and am currently working on small projects that can be used to teach people how to use 3D software and create their own models for printing.

Things I came up with so far are small items (to keep costs down for printing), which are not too complicated to build, yet still have enough different elements to get to know the modelling process:

- key chain

- shopping trolley token with clip

- small jewelry such as a ring or a pendant

- a small figurine / simple character

What were your first models (and your experience building them) when you first started using CAD?

Looking forward to hearing your input and ideas!




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The most useful and easy things I've designed and printed are knobs for various things. For a fan that broke, for a voltage source with a broken knob, for a plexiglass door. Designing something and then printing is much more fun and satisfying than printing someone else's design.

Each knob had a very specific and exact hole with a flat side to accept the post or screw that goes into the bottom of the knob and then the rest of the knob needs to allow a firm grip with fingers so should be "bumpy" and it needs to look nice. So not just a simple cylinder but something more organic and visually pleasing and possibly an indicator of some sort (an arrow or a line or a triangle or a circle to indicate position).


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it needs to be useable afterwards, to generate some enthusiasm around the project and work that goes into it...

So something like a keychain or small puzzle games of various sorts would in my mind be great starting projects... great thing is that depending on the detail and or complexity and shape of the puzzle or keychain there is room for a large variety of difficulty levels in design and production.

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I would start with something, as gr5 and Tommyp1208 say, with something that has a real purpose. Something easy to draw and also someting that users can relate to.

I like the knob idea of gr5, as this is really something usefull and I did that before a few times. The knob needs to fit a real world object, so the designer needs to measure first and then reproduce it / parts of it in cad. It will open many good discussions about tolerances for instance. they will find out they will need to make holes a bit larger depending on the inteded fit etc.. The knob is rather easy to model, I guess really good as a starting point.

Also maybe I could suggest a "bag tag" of some sort. Everybody can customize with their name in various fonts etc.and it's rather fast printed and easy.

I guess from the first print on it's probalby up to the individual allready... there will be the artists and the industrial designers... some for sure want to design cases and the others probably more organic stuff? Up to them to find out if they want to use blender or 123 design / tinkercad.


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