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