3D modeling education after graduation

I graduated with an ID degree in '07. I feel really lucky to be in a design position and have kept it after the economy went bad- unlike some of my fellow classmates. :frowning: In my current job the software I use 95% of the time is Illustrator- I have a softgoods job.

Here’s my issue—I haven’t really touched 3D modeling (rhino/SW) since school and it wasn’t my strongest skill then. Eventhough I do not need it for my current position I am a little worried about how not increasing this skill could hurt my resume in the future.

Who knows what my next job could be?

Would you reccomend taking some sort of tutorial/private course/class ? IS it possible to bring my modeling up to snuff this way?

thanks - all imput is appreciated!

Hi I kinda have a similar problem, I just accepted a soft goods job and was concerned about the same thing. However if you have a copy of the programme and some previous knowledge I think it is possible to refresh those skills and then expand on them in your own time. I plan to set myself little projects try to model up things that I doodle when im on the train etc. just to try and remember all the stuff I learnt at school and then try to learn some more.

There is a lot of free resources out on the internet, if there is something blocking your way try searching for the answer on youtube I found plenty of instructional videos walking through common tools and uses that you might need help with. I think professional courses in 3D stuff can be very expensive though it is not something I have looked into


If you are interested in Rhino, the book “working with rhino” can help you get started… it explains all the basics. Rhino is not that complex, but it seems to me, that people have a hard time “mapping” its functions, and its when you have to figure out how to
build a certain shape, it can becomes difficult…

I would read that book, and then try to build some of your earlier projects in 3D : )

Hope I helped,

Link: www.rhinoacademie.com

Check out Design Engine Education. They have comprehensive courses in SW and Pro/E (among others). They also have a lot of contacts in the field if you should you ever need them.

I learned Pro/E and Alias Studio there. They train designers and engineers from all over the country.


How good at you at being self taught? Personally I think the best way to learn things is to give yourself a challenge: IE give yourself a challenge to model a stapler, mouse, phone, a car etc. When you get stuck forums like these are a great place to ask for help.

This way you can work at your own pace and in your spare time.

Training is great, but sometimes IMO it can get overwhelming. You get dumped a lot of information very quickly and don’t always absorb WHY you’re doing something, you just know that you have to do it.

SW/Rhino both have very shallow learning curves. If you’re rusty you could always practice on your own to get comfortable and then go to a training session to learn some advanced practices. Then spend some money to have something you designed rapid prototyped - thats nice to have for the portfolio if you can present something you designed in 3D in tangible form.

I’ve taken most of the SW training courses, and they do teach you a bit. But I’ve learned more by getting stuck and figuring things out on my own.

This is SO true. The best way to learn modeling is to have a design you’re passionate about, and then stop at nothing to execute that design in a modeling program.

I had the same route, 95% illustrator being in softgoods, and then just taught myself 3d to stay relevant. It’s not hard at all if you have the type of mind to do it. Some people need to be told steps and can’t read software manuals so they need a class. I just sat and read tutorials and manuals on programs that I didn’t have so that I could learn the concepts and workflow well in advance. Then once I had access at a jobsite, I became competent really quickly once the muscle memory set in.
It’s not hard, and as previously mentioned, the best thing is to give yourself some basic projects to model and just jump in. Then once you plunder through it and have made your mistakes and found workarounds, then do it again from scratch to work on your confidence, repeatability, and speed…to develop your attack process. If you do 3 models like that (fumble, rinse, repeat) with varying difficulties (easy, med, complex) you’ll have decent functionality in no time. Then you may just need to talk with some pros, find tutorials or take a class to learn the super efficiency workflow tips, and advanced stuff.

If your looking to learn 3D modeling Solidworks if offering a free 90 day version of the software under their Engineering Stimulus Package to help unemployed designers + engineers. There is also some good basic tutorials available from the website as well.

Solidworks Engineering Stimulus Package

Solidworks Learning Resource

How much does SolidWorks cost? Any difference between student and professional versions?
Any suggestions on the best and cheapest place to get a seat?

I am a rhino user right now and am thinking about going SW. Think it’s a good move? Pros and Cons?

there’s a ton of content on the web as you know.

Also Gnomon School has a couple of books specifically around Alias Studio (formerly known as)

You can download a full featured trial version of 2010 Autodesk Alias for either Mac or Windows

Along with some great tutorials on the Autodesk Alias Community site



. . .Also if you’re a student you can get FREE licenses of Autodesk products here.


cool, j.-

We at design engine teach Rhino and flamingo quite a bit… But I personally don’t mess with Rhino. We don’t sell software which I believe gives design-engine an edge over the folks that do sell.

Classes, tutorials, and DIY training are great ways to learn the basic skills, but the best way by far is to be sitting nearby someone who is very experienced - and patient with newbies;-) . there are so many questions that come up when you’re trying to realize a form in CAD, it’s hard to find answers on your own sometimes

Maybe you could learn a bit on your own, pick a challenging personal project, then find someone experienced in your area and buy him a free lunch to show you some tricks when you get stuck.

Another way I learned surfacing (in pro) was to scour the web and download any complicated surface models that I could find, then roll back the feature tree and learn how they built it. This would work in Solidworks, and maybe you could learn from Rhino/Studiotools models too… a great one I remember was the Scott Wilson Swingline stapler CAD models from design-engine. A really nice design, and an advanced surface model to create


I know rhino, Pro-E and Solidworks well and if you learn good surfacing techniques in one program, its not too hard to be a genius surface modeler in any Nurbs program you pick up. I’d recommend taking a class or learning from a designer 's perspective opposed to resources that come directly from the software.

you can always check for new great tutorials on www.rhino3dhelp.com website.
If you like there is also an option to order custom written tutorial, or even get some classes in Rhino.