Moving ahead

Things are moving ahead – we’ve got our first introductory Zoom meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 4, and already 14 people are signed up. We’ve updated the shopping list page with links to 3 Amazon wish lists which you can use to add everything to the card in one swell foop.

We’re working on the agreements and will be sending those out this week to those who have registered. Also later this week we’ll be moving the forum from shared hosting to a private server, since our shared hosting provider is stingy with the database connections for phpBB.

If you’ve been thinking about signing up, now is a good time to register. Registration will remain open but it will be easier to follow the process if you start from the beginning.


Intro meeting schedule

Our initial meeting is 6pm to 7pm Central Time on Wednesday, August 5. Those who’ve registered for the first group (as of this morning, 17 have registered) will receive the meeting details.

The introductory meeting is mostly a meet-and-greet. We’ll talk about the things you need (software downloads, things to buy, etc) and how the classes will go, how to use the forums, etc. The meeting will be recorded and will be viewable later for those who register but aren’t able to attend.


Registration is now open

You can now register by going to

We had the site looking pretty good then had to switch WordPress themes because the one we chose doesn’t support page templates for forms.

Basically you need to fill in your info, and we’ll contact you with the details for the introductory session which is basically for Q&A. Before starting the course we will ask you to sign a liability waiver (online signing).

Course fees are on a voluntary contribution basis and can be paid at any time.


Registration coming soon

We’ve gotten a couple of basic pages up and will have a registration page soon where you can sign up. We’ve also added a shopping list page which should be pretty much finalized, if you want to go ahead and order things you’ll need.

There are a few things that need to be done before we have our first class, but once registration is open we’ll have an informal Q&A session. We’ll be somewhat limited in the number of people who can join (25) so registration will be on a first-come first-served basis.

How much is this course going to cost? We’re doing this on a contribution basis. We will have some expenses with Zoom hosting but mostly this is a volunteer effort. To keep it sustainable we ask that you consider a contribution of $20 or more. This can be done at any time and will not have any impact on who gets in the first group. We’re also creating Creative Commons licensed material for use with the course so that others can replicate this. Stay tuned for more details…


Online Course in 3D Print Basics and 3D Print Design

I remember putting together my first 3D printer kit almost 10 years ago. I had pieces of laser-cut plywood and hours of Youtube videos to go through for the instructions, then fiddling with settings, more fiddling, and finally I had a working 3D printer.

It’s not that hard nowadays. Basically:

  1. Spend less than $300 to get a printer. I am recommending the Creality Ender 3 Pro which is available on Amazon for about $280 (or less)
  2. Get a box which has everything you need to start printing, including the tools for assembly. You’ll spend about 2 hours putting it together with the enclosed instructions (and yes, there’s a Youtube video also).
  3. Connect to your computer or a Raspberry Pi running Octoprint.
  4. Use one of the models that come with the printer and print your first 3D object.

Using non-toxic materials like PLA gives very satisfying results and also means you are not limited to running your 3D printer in the garage.

As we’re putting together the prospectus for this online course, aimed at middle- and high-school age (and above), please do check back for updates.