First Day – Accounts

Hello and welcome to MATH 103!

There are four online services that we will use regularly in this class: Google, WordPress, Thingiverse, and Tinkercad. This post will help you create accounts for all of these services.

Whenever you log into an account in the 3SPACE classroom, I suggest you use an Incognito Window in Chrome to decrease the chances that you accidentally stay logged in to an account on the public computers. You should also remember to log out from all accounts before leaving the classroom, and to close all of your browser windows.

Google access

We will share class documents and spreadsheets with Google Docs, use Google Slides to make presentations, and use Google Forms to take online quizzes. You don’t need to have a Gmail account to have access to Google; you can use any email. I have given you access to the class Google folder using your JMU email address. If you prefer to log in to Google with a different email then you will have to request access.

  • Go to the shared Google folder for our class
  • You should be prompted to log in. If you want to access Google with your JMU address then create an account with that email address.
  • If you want to use a different account to access Google, then log into that account and attempt to access the shared Google folder again. You should be prompted to request access; make the request and I will get an email from which I can grant you access.
  • Add the email you have chosen to use for Google access to the Student Users and Groups spreadsheet that you should see in the shared Google folder.


You will submit project documentation by posting to the class blog using WordPress. You have been given access to the blog at the Author level, which means that you can create, edit, and publish your own posts, but not modify other peoples’ posts. The instructions below will help you log in to our WordPress site, change your password, and choose a display name.

  • Go to the login page for our class website
    • Username: your first name with last initial (e.g. JanetD)
    • Password: password (you’ll change this in the next step)
  • Change your password
    • Click on Profile in the left menu column
    • Scroll down to New Password and click Generate Password
    • Type any password you like instead of the generated password
    • Make note of your password somewhere private
    • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update Profile
  • Set your display name for the blog
    • On the same Profile page as above…
    • If you’d like to be known by your first and last names on the blog, then do nothing
    • Otherwise change the Nickname field to what you want to be called on the blog. One suggestion is “first name plus last initial”, like “LauraT”
    • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update Profile
  • Add your blog display name to the Student Users and Groups spreadsheet.
  • One of your homework assignments is to create a “hello” blog post on the site. To do this you’ll click on Posts in the left menu column, then on the button Add New at the top of the page. Please complete the rest of the account setup instructions below before writing your hello post.


Thingiverse is an online 3D model repository and community where people share models that they have designed. In this class we will use Thingiverse both as a source of 3D models and inpsiration, and as a place to share our own 3D models that we have designed as part of this class. The instructions below will help you set up a Thingiverse account.

  • Get an account
    • Go to and click the Sign In/Join button in the top right of the screen.
    • Thingiverse is owned and operated by the 3D printing company MakerBot, so you’ll have to create a free MakerBot account. Click the Create an Account button. Your MakerBot account will also be your Thingiverse account.
    • Use any email address, password, and username that you like. Your username is what other people on Thingiverse will see. Make a note of your password somewhere private. Click Continue after filling in the information.
  • Log in and set up your account profile
    • Log in to Thingiverse with the username and password you just created. Thingiverse will send you a verification email that you will have to open to complete the account creation process.
    • There may be other onboarding steps after you verify your account, including opportunities to follow other users or to fill out your Profile. You can do those things now or you can skip them and complete things later if you want to. My only request is that you put “James Madison University” and “JMU 3SPACE” somewhere in your Profile description, if you are willing.
  • Other things you can do
    • If you want to follow me on Thingiverse, you can find me under mathgrrl. I will follow you back if I can tell you are from JMU in your Profile.
    • You don’t have to do this now, but when you are ready can “Like” models or create Collections of models to make them easy to find later on.
  • Add your Thingiverse username to the Student Users and Groups spreadsheet.


Of course, we won’t just be printing other peoples’ 3D models in this class; we’ll also be designing our own! The first 3D design program we will use is Tinkercad, a very easy-to-use modeling program that runs right in your web browser. The instructions below will help you set up an account and get started.

  • Get an account
    • Go to and click on the Sign Up button in the upper right corner.
    • Tinkercad is owned and operated by the 3D software company Autodesk, so you’ll have to create a free Autodesk account. As a student, this account will give you free access to a lot of other Autodesk design programs, including ones that professionals use. Follow the steps to create a new account, and make note of your password somewhere private.
  • Log in and do stuff
    • When you first log in after creating your account, Tinkercad will start you in a Lesson that teaches you how to move shapes on the Workplane. If you want to work through some basic lessons then follow the instructions in the left sidebar and click Next and Continue as needed to move through the content.
    • When you are ready to create something of your own, click on the colorful Tinkercad icon at the top of the screen to get back to your Dashboard, then click the Create new design button. If you ever want to return to the Lessons, you can select the Learn tab from the Dashboard.
  • Add your Tinkercad username to the Student Users and Groups spreadsheet.

Ok, that’s all for today! Feel free to explore Thingiverse and experiment with Tinkercad between now and our next class.