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Online Toy Design Starter Course

Posted by on November 11, 2014

Here’s all the info on the course that I’m offering (without having to have a google ID before viewing the form)


This course will cover the basics of 3D modeling in Sketchup and go on to cover more advanced techniques used for small sized product design, joints and designing parts to be “snap fit”, prepping files for 3D printing via Shapeways, and setting up your Shapeways Shop page to sell your items. At the end of this course you will have a base action figure model that is ready for you to customize, accessorize and sell in your own shop!

Space is limited to 10 students per class, however, if demand is high enough a second class can be offered for Sunday nights.

How will all this work?

The course is going to be online so physical location doesn’t matter. We’ll be using Google Hangouts as our classroom so that we can do screen shares and chat in real time. We’re also going to be using google Drive to share lesson files so a google ID is going to be required. I don’t think that you have to actually have a gmail account though and you can sign up for a Drive account with your current email address for free.

There will be 4 lessons where we will cover a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. We will also be recording the Hangout sessions and putting the videos into the shared Drive folder so that you can review them later on if you need to. Unless interest demands it, we are planning to hold classes from 8pm to 10pm on Saturday nights. We’ll spend a portion of the class going over the previous week’s assignments and discussing issues that students faced while trying to meet their challenges. The rest of the time will be spent in instruction as I go over the lesson for that week and explain the assignment for the next week.

Students will upload (or sync if they have gDrive desktop installed) their assignments to the shared folder and I will critique their work. At the end of the course, students will have a base mini-figure file that they can customize and sell in their own Shapeways shops and will be able to use the techniques learned in order to create new / original things.

Live vs Video?

I’m going to be offering three types of enrollments. (Prices are for the full course, not per class)

The $50 Live course are the classes that will be conducted in the Google Hangouts and get to upload their assignments for me to critique. Live students will also have access to the recorded sessions if they wish to view them again later.  At the end of the class they will have access to the completed minifigure model.

The $40 Video + course will have access to the course files, the video recordings, and will also be able to upload their models for me to look at and critique.  For those that can’t swing the timing of the live classes and are okay with watching videos but still want feedback on their work then this is the course for you.  At the end of the course, Video+ students will also receive a copy of the completed minifigure model.

The $30 Video option is for folks that can’t commit the class time and would prefer to watch the recorded sessions after the fact. These students will not be able to upload their assignments and I won’t be looking at their work. Though they will still have access to the lesson files. This will be more of an “on your own” sort of experience.  At the end of the course Video Only students won’t have access to the completed minifigure but they will have access to all the part spec sheets so that they can model their own figure based off of these specs.

What are we making?base minifigure - angle

I’ve designed a minifigure that will stand about 2 inches (~54mm) tall and will have 10 points of articulation.  The figure will have a basic shape and design but can be easily modified to suit a wide range of applications.  For example changing body dimensions or joint types or even carving/adding to the figure to make it all your own.  This will basically be a starter file for you to open up and get right into the artistic part of the design and have all the engineering already worked out.

The little guy pictured to the right is a render of the finished minifigure model that we’ll be making in the class as well as the one you’ll have access to at the end of the course.  The figure may be small and simple looking but he’s designed for the newby modeler to figure out how to make the different types of joints as well as learn how to work with Sketchup and designing with Shapeways 3D printing in mind.  At the end of the course you’ll be able to modify him or use the concepts from building him to make your own figures that you can sell in your own shops.

I’ve also designed a more advanced action figure that has 28 points of articulation and will stand about 5-6 inches tall.  This figure is going to be developed by and given to students of the Advance Course that I will offer to graduates of this course.  That course will go more in depth with a lot of the trickier Sketchup techniques as well as account for using different materials in your models.  I’ll make an announcement when it’s ready.

What do I need?

You’ll need to download the latest version of Sketchup 2015 which is free and runs on most computers. Check with the site to make sure your computer can run the program.

You’ll also need a Google account so that you can log into the Hangouts and access the lesson files in the gDrive folders.

While not necessary it wouldn’t hurt to have the gDrive desktop client as it will sync your local files with the cloud folders without you having to bother uploading anything or downloading any of the videos.

We will touch a bit on the program Netfab and the Sketchfab and Shapeways services near the end. Netfab is a free program that checks your models for errors before 3D printing, and Sketchfab is an online service that will let you show off your 3D models online. Shapeways is the online service that can 3D print your models so you’ll need to setup an account and shop with them.

So, ready to sign up? here’s the link to the form (or if you’re logged in to your google account you should see the form below)

7 Responses to Online Toy Design Starter Course

  1. Everett WongNo Gravatar

    So Is this $50,$40, or $30 per class? So x4? $200, $160, or $120 for the full course? Very interested! Thank you!

    • WuLongTiNo Gravatar

      You’re not the first to ask so I better clarify in the post! It’s $50, $40, $30 for the whole course, not per class ^__^

  2. 10v20No Gravatar

    All the info is in the post: “I’m going to be offering three types of enrollments. (Prices are for the full course, not per class)”

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