Plano Learns: 3D Design

What does 3D mean? CAD? How do you design in 3D? Learn about the 3D design process with our virtual session of Wonder Café: Popping off the Page.

Maybe you already are a 3D designer or maybe you have an engineer in the house that loves to build things with their LEGOs, blocks or PlayDoh!. On Saturday, June 13 Siemens’ engineer, Kyle Aruda shared the 3D design process, real world examples of problems 3D design is tackling and information about 3D design software, Solid Edge.

3D design is created using a grid with X, Y and Z planes, similar to plotting graphs in algebra, but with that extra dimension (3D). There are numerous programs to choose from when beginning your 3D journey:

Many of these you can access from a tablet, phone or computer. Some programs, such as Tinkercad, already have shapes that you can drag and drop onto the plane, while others, like Blender, expect you to create the object from scratch. Many programs have multiple components, e.g. Blender includes graphic design and animation as part of their program.

For kids and family, we recommend Tinkercad or Solid Edge; for those with experience with 3D design or Adobe products, we recommend SketchUp, Blender or Solid Edge.


To get started:

  • Choose a program to work with (see linked list above)
  • Take a tutorial (see Lynda list below)
  • Start a design or import one from a repositories like Thingiverse)
  • Bring flashdrive with .STL file to the library for printing

Three Plano Public Library locations have 3D printers available for you to use: Davis, Harrington and Parr. The library offers virtual classes to get you started, or you can login to Lynda.com to learn how to get started, advance design features specific and 3D design applications such as Tinkercad.

Note: while the library is closed due to COVID-19, 3D printing service is unavailable.


Lynda.com courses are available free with your Plano Public Library card. Here are select introductory courses for a variety of 3D design software:

Solid Edge is a proprietary software and Siemens has tutorials on their website specific for students and general public.


Question? Request time with a librarian through our virtual Book-a-Librarian service. Be sure to check out our virtual programming calendar for upcoming technology workshops.

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