In the past, the world of 3D modeling belonged to engineers and designers. Most 3D modeling software was hard to use and expensive. The folks at TinkerCAD.com have created a delightful web based tool for artists, students, and creative technology professionals . With this tool, you can start learning the basics of 3D modeling and print your creations using a personal 3D printer or a 3D printing service like Shapeways.com .
In our local maker community, I have started to receive requests for classes/tutorials on getting started with 3D printing and 3D modeling. I have collected three helpful and brief tutorials to help you get started with TinkerCAD.com . As I was reviewing this tool, I found the user experience and education materials very engaging and simple.
Benefits of TinkerCad.com:
- TinkerCAD is free. In order to use the tool, you need to use a WebGL enabled browser like Google Chrome or FireFox.
- TinkerCAD has a feature to enable you to export your 3D models to Minecraft. I haven’t tested this yet. I, however, am looking forward to playing with this.
- If you don’t have a 3D printer, you will appreciate that TinkerCAD integrates with services like Shapeways.com and Thingaverse.com enabling you to 3D print and promote your work.
- TinkerCAD has created a cool community of model builders and public models. I was able to quickly find a Dr. Who “Tardis” and modify the model. (see picture above.) The community feature enables you to learn how to construct complicated models by reviewing work from others.
TinkerCad is one solid option for getting started in 3D modeling. If you’re looking for other options, check out this link from http://www.InventToLearn.com .
I hope you find these video tutorials helpful.
Abstract: This is a tutorial video that teaches you the basic functions of Tinkercad, a 3D design tool that runs in your browser.
Abstract: This is a tutorial video of how to import vectors into Tinkercad. Import .svg files to turn your 2D designs into 3D. Bring files from vector programs like Illustrator, Inkscape, etc.
Abstract: Teacher Liz Arum gives a demo of Tinkercad, a new browser-based 3D modeling environment. We then talk to her about some of the basics of 3D modeling. This is an archived clip from Make: Live, which was originally broadcasted on 9/28/11. Go to http://makezine.com/?live/? for information about the show, chat.
Please note that this last video is a few years old. I, however, wanted to include it since Liz Arum provides an important educational perspective to the TinkerCAD tool. Liz uses this tool to teach physical fabrication and computing to her middle schoolers. (Very cool!) Since this video was created, the TinkerCAD user interface and features have been improved.
If you end up making something cool in TinkerCAD, share a link to your creations below!!
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