Tinkercad is an online collection of software tools from Autodesk that allow complete beginners to create 3D models. This CAD software is based on Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG), which allows users to create complex models by combining simpler objects. As a result, this 3D modeling software is user-friendly and currently loved by many, especially teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers. Best of all, it’s free and all you need is an internet connection to take it on. The software allows users to create models compatible with 3D printing, a great option for those new to the technology.
Tinkercad is a good alternative to other 3D modeling software such as SketchUp or Fusion360, another Autodesk solution, if you don’t need the more advanced features of those solutions. In fact, Autodesk acquired Tinkercad in 2013, two years after it was launched by former Google engineer Kai Backman and co-founder Mikko Mononen. The main advantage of the software compared to the other two software is that it is free, while still offering more modeling freedom than it seems! It is currently available in 16 languages.
What are the main features of Tinkercad?
Even though Tinkercad is perfect for beginners, that doesn’t mean those who are more experienced with 3D modeling won’t enjoy this software as well. Since it is based on CSG to create solid models, you can always make your model more complex by adding more shapes. Concretely, all you have to do is select one of the available shapes, add or remove material and you’re done! For example, you can start with a cylinder before adding triangles, circles, cones, etc. The shape can then be moved and rotated, allowing users to view it from all angles.
Additionally, the software lets you add electronic circuits to 3D models to create objects with light and movement. The end result can even be simulated in software to check how the components will react in real life. Another feature of Tinkercad is its ability to turn a 3D design into buildable brick models, similar to creating legos. Finally, for those who love Minecraft, you will be well served, since you can make creations compatible with the application.
Therefore Tinkercad can be used for a range of applications including 3D printing. 3D models can be saved in three different formats, STL, OBJ and SVG. Once you have an STL file of your model, you can move on to using slicing software. The slicing software converts the 3D model into a series of thin layers and produces a G-code file containing instructions tailored to a specific type of printer. In other words, it divides the object into a stack of flat layers and describes these layers as linear movements of the 3D printer’s extruder. If you do not have a 3D printer, you can also order your model via the online service offered by Tinkercad. You should also know that it can be exported in SVG format for laser cutting.
The 35 million users of Tinkercad often compliment the intuitiveness of this CAD software. Transformation, duplication and shape modification are easy to grasp. Additionally, Autodesk has made many resources available to its community. For example, you will find inspiration, tips & tricks to get started on their blog, as well as videos and courses to get you started in 3D modeling! The software works on any computer with an internet connection, you just need to create your account. It also offers cloud backup of 3D models. If you want to know more, be sure to check out the website HERE.
Find more 3D modeling software for beginners in our list. Have you used Tinkercad to create 3D models? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter to get all the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox!