3D Design Coaching


A California State Library LSTA grant program intended to facilitate easy duplication of successful projects

Informational Webinar

Special considerations: Your library must be compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to apply to copy this project.

Description: Community volunteers lead one-on-one 3D Design coaching sessions with participants and guide them in using software like Sketchup and Blender. As printing an object is often at the end of single-design iteration, the interactive sessions target earlier steps and incorporate a more holistic approach to show users what it means to go from a concept or idea into a physical object.

Purpose: To harness and generate excitement about technology and engage and welcome community members to the library.

Target audience: Community members interested in, or already participating in, 3D design, virtual reality, game development, and other creative technological endeavors. Participants’ skill levels vary from beginner to proficient-but-needing-help.

Expected outcomes: Participants will increase their knowledge of 3D design software and have a greater understanding of the steps involved in taking a concept from initial ideas to final, physical product.

Budget Considerations

  • Compensation for coaches (if not volunteers)
  • Computer with graphics card
  • 3D Printer
  • Software
  • Printer supplies

See original grant application for detail and in-kind staff estimates. The maximum funding set for this project is for a scaled down version of the original project, focusing on the 3D design aspects.

Implementation Steps

  • Identify and meet with library stakeholders
  • Recruit and train community volunteers knowledgeable about the software and 3D design process. High school students are often good candidates, though they do require some training/mentorship as they take on new responsibilities. After a few glitches, Palo Alto City Library (PACL) learned it is necessary to emphasize punctuality for their teen volunteers. Discussing responsibilities with volunteers can minimize disappointing participants. Adult volunteers from the community who have the knowledge and skills are another option. Sample training document (pdf format) See the Copycat grant Toolkits volunteers page for tips.
  • Purchase/acquire Materials, supplies and equipment, including
  • Troubleshoot. Ensure computer is configured properly with required software
  • Reserve space for one-on-one coaching session with a computer; venue should allow coaching pair to interact without being interrupted or interrupting others and have enough space for two people to sit in front of computer.
  • Publicize training series/recruit participants via library website, local media, social media. For examples, see: Palo Alto City news page, Palo Alto City Library events page, and PLCL promotional video. Visit the marketing page for tips.
  • Schedule one-on-one sessions. With high school volunteers, sessions will likely occur on the weekends or during the summer. At PACL, sessions at specific times are posted on the library website, and participants sign up.
  • There is no set curriculum. The content of sessions is driven by the person attending. For example, a participant might start by saying "I don't know anything, how do I get started?" In this case, the coach will walk through the basics of a given application. Others may have specific questions about a certain software's features, or be at a point in a project where they need help.
  • Evaluation. Monitor sessions for success, including surveying participants. For an example, see 3D Design Coach Survey (pdf format).