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Tinkercad

Difficulty: Easy  Type: Drag and drop, solid modeling
Platforms: Web  Cost: Free

Go to Tinkercad

Construct 3D designs from simple shapes and combine, move, resize, and manipulate them using your mouse.

Autodesk's Tinkercad is one of the most popular classroom tools for creating simple designs from scratch, quickly modifying existing designs. It’s a free online 3D design program that you can use in your web browser without downloading any software. Tinkercad is extremely intuitive and easy to use, and has built-in Lessons to help you learn the ropes, making it perfect for beginners both young and old.

Basic models such as name tags, furniture, houses, snowmen, vases, keychains, and cups are easy to create quickly with Tinkercad. Design by selecting, dragging, and placing basic shapes and then combining and manipulating them to create 3D models of whatever you like. Custom Shape Scripts add more flexible tools like text, shape generators, and parametrized forms. If you make your designs public then other people can open their own copies of your models and Tinker with them; likewise, you can Search through thousands of public models to find desings to Tinker with and modify.

Tinkercad excels at cutting things into parts, adding simple features, making holes, and combining, aligning, and arranging objects. It’s easy to bring existing designs into Tinkercad to make quick modifications or additions, so advanced designers can also benefit by including Tinkercad in their design toolbox. You can import 3D STL models into Tinkercad for modifying or incorporating into other models, or import 2D SVG images that can be used to make extruded patterns, lettering, and designs. When you’re done designing you can export to STL for 3D printing, or even directly to Thingiverse, Shapeways, or Minecraft.

Jumpstart

Get started right away: Sign up for a free Tinkercad account, press Create a New Design, and drag in objects from the Geometric menu to build a simple keychain.

ThingsThings Designed with Tinkercad

Made With Tinkercad by mathgrrl Jul 7, 2015

Made with Tinkercad

A wide range of Things that our users designed with Tinkercad. Although Tinkercad is simple enough for everyone to get started with quickly, it has the power to make a great many wonderful things. You can share directly to Thingiverse from Tinkercad.

Tinkercad Remixes by mathgrrl Jul 8, 2015

Tinkercad Remixes

Existing Thing + Tinkercad modifications = Remix! Tinkercad makes it easy to add holes, stands, or extra components to a design. You can also use Tinkercad to cut out part of an existing STL and use it in a new creation.

Tinkercad Projects by mathgrrl Jul 8, 2015

Tinkercad Projects

A collection of 3D design projects in Tinkercad that are suitable for classrooms and hackerspaces. Some are educational, some have great instructions or tutorials, and some were made by students for school projects.

ThingsGetting Started with Tinkercad

Go to tinkercad.com and set up a free account. At the top of your front page you can click Learn to follow walk-through Lessons that will teach you basic navigation and modeling techniques. From the Gallery you can browse models that you can Copy and Tinker to remix and modify, or just use the Search field to find models to explore. To begin creating your own 3D model, click Create New Design and start looking around; many of Tinkercad’s tools and features are easy to figure out by experimenting. To learn more and level up your Tinkercad design skills, follow the links below.


Starter Resources

Get started quickly with one or more of these links.



Beginner How-To Videos

For a quick tour of the basics, watch these short YouTube videos by AutodeskTinkercad, TinkerTips, and jumekubo4smps.



Beginner Tinkercad Projects

For design ideas and walthroughs, read these blog posts from 3Dprintingforbeginners.com, Instructables, DesignMakeTeach, and MakerHome.

ThingsGoing Further with Tinkercad

Intermediate How-To Videos

Level up your Tinkercad skills even more with these short tutorial videos by AutodeskTinkercad and AutodeskEd.



Intermediate Tinkercad Projects

Read these blog posts from Autodesk 123D Blog, Tinkercad 3D Design Blog, Paynter’s Palace, and MakeZine to take your skills even further.


In the Classroom

If you’re an educator looking for a classroom project built around Tinkercad, you might be interested in the book MakerBot in the Classroom: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Design.

Booklet
  • Download a free copy of the book that includes the step-by-step exploratory project Primitive Modeling with Tinkercad: Make Your Own Country
  • Explore the free 3D files on Thingiverse that go with the Make Your Own Country project
  • Follow along with videos that show the Tinkercad design process used to make the water, forest, and mountain tiles used in the Make Your Own Country project
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