June 8, 2017
Educators and students will learn how to use the free, simple, online 3D design and 3D printing app, TinkerCAD. It’s a free, easy to use, 3D modeling program that doesn’t require any prior design experience, but can still be used to create helpful tactile and visual aides for teaching or can even be used by the students to develop their understanding of a subject, like designing a coin that the Ancient Egyptians might have used.
To see Tinkercad in action and learn the basics of using the platform to design, check out the video form of this article as well:
Students should be able to navigate and understand how Tinkercad works for basic modeling, and be able to create their first model for 3D printing.
This lesson needs to be taught before any other lessons in our curriculum, (unless you or your students already use another 3D design software) as they utilize Tinkercad. After this lesson, Tinkercad can be applied to any subject as a learning tool, from creating fraction models for math, the states of matter for science, or Native American home styles for social science, Tinkercad has a lot of versatility.
Having students follow the instructions in stages with you will take about 1 hour to fully teach the lesson.
Students need to know:
Step 1: If the student already has a Tinkercad account, have them click the "Sign In" button in the top right corner and proceed to Step 5
Step 2: If they don't have an account, have them click "Sign Up" next to the "Sign In" button.
Step 3: Have the student fill out the webform by inputting the country they live in and their birthday. This is to make sure that parents or teachers of any students under the age of 13 are informed of the sign-up request. Then have them decide on a username and password. Make sure to have them write it down somewhere so they don't forget it.
Step 4: If the student is under 13, have them put in the instructor's email where it says "Your parent's email." When they are all filled in, click "Create Account"
Step 5: Have them click on the Tinkercad logo on the top left; this should bring them to their dashboard. In order to make their own models, click "Get approved," and check the email registered to the account to approve it.
Step 6: At the homepage (Tinkercad.com after logging in) they should click "Create new design" to begin working on their first model and learn the tools within the program.
Step 7: Circled here are the main features we will be focusing on:
Step 8: Navigating around the workspace using the buttons on the left side of the screen.
Step 11: To create some basic objects, there is a dropdown menu on the right that says "Tinkercad > Basic Shapes".
Step 12: Using the left mouse button, click on the "Box" and move the cursor over to the workplace and click again to place the box there.
Step 13: By placing the box, several toggles will be created around the box that can change it's shape.
Step 14: Additionally, there is a pop-up menu that offers several more options that affect your object more specifically, but some of these options disappear depending on the object selected. For a box, there is:
Step 15: There are tools on the top left for some actions your students' are probably most familiar left.
Step 16: There are a couple more tools that are incredibly useful to making objects more complex than cylinders and boxes, which can be found in the top right.
Step 17: Once the students have played with all the various tools and have a feel for how Tinkercad works, it's time to learn how to export a model for 3D printing. 3D printers use a specific file format, like Microsoft Word uses ".doc" 3D printing programs use ".stl." After export, students will be able to import their .stl into MatterControl.
This concludes the first foray into 3D model design using Tinkercad. Students should continue to experiment with their models by adding several different shapes on to the Workplane and seeing if new shapes may be constructed by overlapping and/or combining the basic shapes. This is the modern version of build and play and students should be encouraged to explore the process in more depth.
By the end of the project students should have an introductory understanding of how to use Tinkercad. For assessment purposes, students should create any object that utilizes a variety of Tinkercad's functions, like combining two shapes, modifying their dimensions, adding holes, and using the radius tool in the popup.
Get The Latest From MatterHackers
Please enter a valid email.