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UW Youth & Teen Programs

3D Design & CAD Modeling

Master the fundamentals of CAD (computer-aided design) for 3D printing, architecture and engineering. In this course, you’ll learn how to work with Tinkercad, software to develop virtual designs on the computer and then build those designs physically with materials in class. You’ll tackle design challenges such as tool replications, 3D design/build puzzles, balsa towers that we’ll test for strength, modern house architectural design and a Mars habitat design for space tourists. We’ll also take field trips to on-campus sites and hear from guest speakers who work with CAD professionally. On the last day of class, share your designs with family and friends. By the end of this course, you'll have enough understanding of CAD design to continue to grow your skills into the next school year on your own.

What You'll Learn

  • Fundamentals of 3D modeling software to create objects with specific shapes and dimensions 
  • How to think in three-dimensional space and apply that thinking to physical objects 
  • How 3D printers work and how to use them
  • Insights into careers and industries that employ people with 3D modeling skills 
  • Basic universal design terminology and why virtual models are used

Who Should Register 

This course is for sixth to eighth graders. This is a beginner’s course; you don‘t need any previous CAD experience.

This course is offered multiple times each year to meet student demand. If you’ve previously enrolled in this course, you should find a different course to take.


Steve Howard and Will Nelson

More Information

This in-person course is taught on the UW Seattle campus.

Students who want a full-day experience can register for two courses — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — which will include a supervised lunch break between courses. Students should bring a lunch.

See the Policies page for details about registration, refunds, waitlists and more.


Aug 12–Aug 23, 2024

9 a.m.–12 p.m.
UW Seattle
Refund Deadline
Jul 1, 2024