Tinkercad. Web-based 3D Modeling for Makers


Tinkercad allows you design 3D objects on your computer and then materialize them using 3D printers. The service is strongly focused on teaching people about design and CAD software using engaging and fun quests. Tinkercad is free, and encourages sharing designs under a creative commons license. It is built on the WebGL platform so requires a modern browser (and in some cases, modern graphics cards) to run it. You start by creating an account on the site. Next you are provided with a canvas to draw your 3D object on. Drawing tools include variously shaped 3D brushes and tools that let you easily draw holes and slots into your design.

To change the level or angle you’re working on, you can choose the workplane. The measure tool allows you to create a positionable ruler to assist with measurements of your design. The top left menu item, “Print 3D”, is how you export your model. You can either export it to an *.STL file or you can send it to a 3d printing service like Shapeways.com if you don’t own a 3d printer. While Tinkercad is simple to use and allows you to build models quickly and share them with Thingiverse and Twitter, what you cannot do is move or rotate your model or forms once they are created

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