Fast track to designing your own parts. CAD Tutorial - DesignSpark

Hey guys! As the conversations within multiple other threads suggest, one of the main hurdles in 3D printing is designing your own parts for printing. Anybody can download a ThingiVerse model and click a big “go” button to print it, but many are unable to create the objects and parts that they actually bought the printer for in the first place. Printing the first piece that you designed yourself is a right of passage in the 3D printing world, and the timing is perfect for getting started with this skill now - before you’re distracted with Yoda heads and gear bearings…

I’ve been using DesignSpark Mechanical for a little less than a year, and I’ve had very good luck with it. I think it’s just powerful enough to be useful, but it’s still easy enough to learn quickly. In fact, the creators of the software (it’s the lite version of SpaceClaim, if you’re curious) had rapid results in mind when they set out to create this program.

Anyway, here’s part 1 of a video tutorial series that I’ve been working on. In 15 minutes you should have a decent understanding of the program’s basics and be able to play and explore to create your own CAD drawings.

For the record, I am not affiliated with DesignSpark in any way. I enjoy helping people and I recorded this video to use in training sessions and workshops that my local makerspace (The MakerHive) hosts for the community.

I’m gearing up to record part 2 of the series. Please let me know what tools and features you’d like to know more about so that I can try to write them into the script for the next video.

Thanks for watching! Jim


Thanks Jim,

This will help a lot making the switch from Tinkercad, I like Tinkercad a lot but I am looking for something with more tools to create my designs.

Kind regards,

Great video Jim!

I use Siemens NX for all my CAD work because i use it at work and i am used to it. I have tried some of the free CAD tools like designspark and 123D design but neither one comes close to NX in terms of available design tools. It’s a very powerful tool but unfortunately it is not very user friendly and is not free…


Thank’s! I think this might well be the clearest, most usable and effective tutorial I’ve ever viewed! Fast, but clear and specific enough to make stepping back and forth easy. I look forward to learning from your tutorial, and those that will, hopefully, follow.:relaxed:

1 Like

Thank you, sir!

I haven’t gotten around to recording the second video yet. Any special requests?