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Thursday, July 30, 2015
3D CAD and 3D Printing with Chromebooks
Everyone who reads this blog knows I'm a huge fan of Chromebooks, especially for education. One area that I get asked about often is 3D CAD and 3D Printing. So here is some info. I am by no means an expert on 3D printing though.
Tinkercad is a completely web-based, 3D CAD system that works on Chromebooks. I've used it and found it easy to use and pretty powerful (and I've used systems like CATIA, Pro-Engineer and SolidWorks). You can easily download the STL file to use with the 3D printer. Tinkercad also has some great resources to help you learn how to use it.
I haven't found a 3D printer that would work directly from a Chromebook, but even Windows laptop schools connect a powerful desktop to their 3D printer to do the rendering and printing and allow the student to use their device for other things while the job runs. Some printers even have built in support for accessing files from media devices like flash drives so you can print direct.
So, students can do their designs on the Chromebooks, and then the files can be accessed on the desktop PC and printed on the 3D printer.
Two more things Chromebooks can do!
What can you do on a Chromebook? Pretty much everything.