Tinkercad

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Tinkercad

Tinkercad screenshot.JPG
Type: 3D CAD
Platform: all OS (online)
License: free upon registration
Source: https://www.tinkercad.com/
Installed on: device independent
Input Formats: .stl / .svg
Output Formats: .stl / .svg / .obj / .x3d / .vrml
Users: Lukas


Tinkercad is a free, browser based 3D design tool especially suited for beginners and uncomplicated 3D printing.

"Installation"/Sign In

Only an internet browser and WebGL are required to use Tinkercad. Simply visit tinkercad.com to see if your system supports it (it probably does).

A common issue is a failure to sign in: if you are taken back to the previous form whenever you hit "sign in", try allowing third party cookies in your browser's settings and it should work just fine.

First Steps

This wiki article will try to help you with some common tasks in Tinkercad, but you should start by taking some of their simple lessons if you have a hard time following along. They can be accessed immediately after logging in by clicking "learn".

General Usage

Modeling in Tinkercad is based on the addition and subtraction of predefined solids. Users can create quite intricate things out of simple boxes with a bit of experience, and there are good import functions for 2D (.svg) and 3D (.stl) files.

SVG Import

Vector graphics, e.g. from Inkscape, can be imported with ease and are extruded to make them three-dimensional. Only visible layers are imported and objects such as text should be converted to paths (otherwise there may be an error "file seems to be empty").

If it still doesn't work for whatever reason, you can try svg2stl.com for great results!

Shape Generators

Tinkercad comes with parametric shape generators from the developers and many more from the community, e.g. a simple extrusion defined by four points and eight curve handles or various shape generators. Have a look through this selection if you have some time, you will find some very useful ones and can favorite them for later.

Preparing a Model for 3D Printing

Printing from Tinkercad is almost as easy as it gets:

  • make sure all parts of your design touch the workplane (unless they really shouldn't)
  • group the components to see tiny gaps more easily - these are usually not desired
  • align your model(s) if necessary, this may be more difficult later on
  • download the model as an STL file (Design -> Download for 3D Printing)
  • slice, e.g. in Cura

Tutorials

  • "mikeasaurus" on instructables.com: razor holders - well-written & with many screenshots