Introduction to TinkerCAD

TinkerCAD is a simplified version of AutoCAD which is the commercial software that a lot of professional designers use. It’s free to use for anyone and has a web based interface and also an app that works well in both Safari and Chrome. It’s not quite as powerful as Sketchup, but it has some nice features and it’s a little easier to use for beginners.

If you have an iPad that you can install apps on you can also use the app by adding it from the AppStore:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/tinkercad/id1469440830

Step 1 – Navigate to tinkercad.com

I’ve created special class codes for my students which allows them to use Tinkercad without creating an account, but you can always create a personal account. The only downside with personal accounts is you can’t use the classroom features. Here’s the link:

https://www.tinkercad.com/

Click the picture or link above to get started.

Step 2 – Join class or login

For students in my classes you will either have a link or be given a class code. If you have a link you will bypass this first screen. Secret links here: year 2

Class codes are 12 characters long with letters and numbers
For my students your nickname will be the student’s first name + the first letter of their surname + 21 (e.g. garyo21)

That’s it – no password to remember – you just need the class code and your nickname which you should be able to figure out using the clue above. Please only login as yourself – I shouldn’t have to say that. I guess I could make the nicknames harder to guess… but why would you login as someone else?

Step 3 – Learn using the built in lessons

The lessons in Tinkercad are really good. They will guide you through the basics and they are interactive so you actually create designs while you learn. Click the ‘Learn’ menu at the top of the dashboard page.

Let’s get learning
There are 7 lessons in the starters series. We’ll start with ‘Place it!’.
Each step in these lessons have instructions displayed on the left. You follow the instructions by performing actions in the middle and right part of the screen. In this lesson we are learning how to place shapes onto the centre work area or workplane.
Each lesson follows a similar format. Read the instructions, practice the action then click Next, Done or Continue.
This is the shortest lesson. Click Done.
That was pretty easy. It does get harder, but it’s worth it.
In lesson 2 we are learning how to move around our model so that we can view it from any side. We may also want to zoom in or out so that we can see details or how the whole model looks.
In lesson 3 we are learning how to move many shapes onto the workplane.
Lesson 4 gets a bit tricky as there are several ways you can rotate a 3D shape.
If you have made it to lesson 5 you are doing great. Now let’s learn how to change the size of our 3D shapes.
Lesson 6 is tricky. Younger students can probably skip the last 2 lessons. When you group 2 objects together they can combine together… but there are 2 ways to combine
Lesson 7 is the trickiest of them all. Younger students should definitely be skipping this one. Aligning shapes allows you to change the positions of many shapes quickly and accurately. First you have to select the shapes you want to align.

Step 4 – Create your own 3D model

Now it’s time to create something of your own. Click the Tinkercad logo to go to your dashboard and then click ‘Create new design’.

The dashboard is like the home page where you can access all of the projects you’ve worked on.
What amazing 3D structure will I create today?

Now you can put your new skills to practice to create your very own 3D model.

I combined a few different basic shapes including an icosahedron (??). Then I clicked the Minecraft looking button in the top right.
At first I couldn’t quite understand what I was looking at here. Was it a weird mushroom biome? Why couldn’t I change anything?

There are 3 different sizes in the blocks and bricks view. Each one has a different amount of blocks/bricks that are used to construct your model.

Oh, I get it now – it’s the Lego brick version of my structure. Cool!

Step 5 – Send/share your model with others

The final step is to download a picture of your model to share with others. The model is automatically shared with a random name – which you can always change. Click the ‘Send to’ or ‘Share’ button in the top right part of the screen. Then click the download picture button as highlighted below.

When you click the download button the picture will be saved to your downloads folder. On an iPad it probably goes to the Files app.

15 Comments

  1. Henry lyu

    πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“πŸ˜“

    Reply
  2. ANONYMOUS HACKER

    THIS IS SOOOOOOOOO COOL

    Reply
  3. RuStEw

    I’m really bad at it

    Reply
  4. lolitsmackie

    A bit confusing at first…………………………..:D?

    Reply
  5. Nikisha

    It’s so cool

    Reply
  6. joycez

    I like it!

    Reply
  7. A

    Hi there this is Ayden πŸ˜ΊπŸ‘ΎπŸ€²πŸΎπŸ‘ŠβœŠπŸ‘πŸ€πŸ€œ

    Reply
  8. joycez

    Hi!

    Reply
  9. Isabella

    How do you delete things?????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    cool

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

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