Intro to 3D Modeling focuses on the use of 3D modeling both in and out of the computer. The class will go in depth to learn Rhino, a 3D modeling program, while also touching on alternative software. Projects will use the Rhino files to generate 3D printed models. We will also explore alternative 3D modeling outputs, such as 3D scanning and CNC tools.


The class will have two major projects, with side exercises and demos in Rhino and other programs. The nature of the projects vary, and students are encouraged to think outside of using 3D software for technical objects and instead print objects with conceptual backdrops like nanotechnology from the future, or objects that are aware of their status as 3D prints.

Project 1 Part I
Design an object in Rhino and render it. This project will emphasize modeling within the computer and focus on rendering digitally.

Project 1 Part II
3D print the model. Present it with digital renders. Together, prints and renders should help us accurately envision your object.

Project 2
Design a more complex object in Rhino that can be 3D printed. Based off of acquired skills in the class, try to challege yourself to create something both intricate and printable. It can be an iteration of your first project, or something completely new. Look at the Resources below for inspiration.

Ideas for models: nanotechnology, medical, mechanical, living, chemical structure, furniture or building. Keep in mind that these are all scaled models of the real thing–i.e. the actual invention doesn't have to be the size of what a 3D printer allows. Think of 3D prints as models the same way they are in a computer. Dream big or microscopic.


Here are some resources that span from links to 3D software to fun inspiration.

Cinema4D gallery
3D Printing drugs, meat, and other crazy things
Tangible Media at MIT
Heather Dewey-Hagborg
A glorified video of the profitable end of 3D printing.
Rhino gallery
Tom Burtonwood
3D Printing Hype
Are 3D print fails beautiful?
NASA 3D Models!
NPR 3D Printers in Space Interview
Wearable 3D Printed Structures for Interplanetary Voyage


Review Syllabus / Overview of Course
Lecture: Why Rhino? What else is out there?
Intro to Everything 3D
Intro to Rhino
Download Rhino for Mac

3D Scanning Demo using 123DCatch
Lecture: What can we do with models? (CNC mill, laser cutters, 3D printers and beyond)
Simple is Key: Lines and Points in Rhino
Hands on with Rhino, brainstorm and begin Exercise 1 models

Demo: Building models in Rhino
Present Ex. 1 Ideas
Work on Rhino Exercise #1

Rhino Lesson: Organization and Complex Objects
3D Printing/Scanning Demo in Advanced Output Center
Work on Ex.1 first draft model

Rhino Lesson: Analyzing Objects
Prepare/Finalize Rhino model for 3D Printing

Rhino Lesson: Digital Rendering
Tour I/O Lab
Hands on - 3D Printing
Begin Project 2 Models

Advanced Rhino: Meshes and Complex Commands
Show Project 1 3D prints
Work on Project 2 Models

Work day!
3D Rendering/Printing Renders
Try to complete Project 2 models.

**No class Nov. 29**


AOC Setup and Submit Project 2 Prints

Assignment: Model something to be rendered in Keyshot. Since we are not concerned with printing these models, you have the freedom to model anything you'd like: an environment, a system, something really complex, etc. Just play around with the skills you've learned thus far. You could also use a pre existing model, but add other objects to it.

Keyshot Rendering Demo

Present Project 2
Moving forward with Rhino and Advanced Digital I/O