May 21, 2024
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What is Tinkercad and How to Use it – Step By Step Guide

What is Tinkercad and How to Use it – Step By Step Guide

Ready to start creating? Tinkercad is an intuitive, easy-to-use app for 3D modeling, electronics, and coding. This program is perfect for CAD software beginners and entry-level 3D Print enthusiasts alike. Not only is it free, but it runs right in your browser, making it an incredibly user-friendly platform.

In this Tinkercad tutorial, we take a look at what Tinkercad is and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to use it, so you can get started with this valuable educational tool today.

What is Tinkercad?

How far do Tinkercad’s capabilities go, and what can this simple, yet powerful 3D modeling platform be used for? Tinkercad is the go-to software for beginners, allowing users to learn how to design and print in 3D, as well as how to code, and create circuits.

Tinkercad lets users recreate existing objects or bring their own unique creations to life by easily manipulating shapes before adding or subtracting them from other shapes.

Tinkercad is the go-to program for anyone who is looking to delve into the world of 3D modeling, electronics, and coding, as it gives users the foundational knowledge to progress to more advanced 3D printing programs. This makes it the perfect tool for teachers looking to start their students off with an easy-to-use, intuitive tool that makes learning about 3D modeling fun.

What Are the Main Features of Tinkercad?

Although Tinkercad is marketed towards beginners, that doesn’t mean those novice 3D modelers won’t appreciate its easy-to-use features. More advanced users will enjoy the ability to complexify your 3D model by adding more shapes and electronic circuits to create objects that contain light and movement.

Your end result can then be simulated using the Tinkercad software to see how the components will work together in real life. Tinkercad also possesses the ability to turn a 3D design into buildable brick models, which can be likened to creating legos.

Plus, you’ll notice that Tinkercad contains Minecraft-specific basic tutorials – this is due to the fact that you can make creations that are Minecraft compatible!

How to Use Tinkercad – Step By Step Guide

Ready to start creating? Tinkercad works by combining the three basic principles of 3D design by learning how to place, adjust, and combine shapes. Let’s take a look at how you can get started with this no-experience preferred app.

1. Create a Tinkercad Account

tinkercad account creation page screenshot

Tinkercad’s home page allows you to either “Start Tinkering” on your own or join your class. Teachers can select “Start Tinkering” or “Join Now” at the top of the screen to get started! You will then have the option to create an educator account or a personal account.

When you select the option to create an educator account, you will then be prompted with a message letting you know that once you create an educator account and set up your classroom, students that join your classroom will be in Safe Mode.

Safe mode prevents students from sharing a Tinkercad project publicly, as well as posting comments, uploading images, and collaborating with other Tinkercad users. As the teacher, you will be a moderator of your student accounts. As a moderator, you will not only be able to see your students’ designs, design process, and other activities, but you have the option to make their content and existing designs public.

Join Your Class

tinkercad join class main page screenshot

By selecting “Join Your Class,” students can simply paste in the code that their teacher has provided before clicking “Go to my class.” This is an easy way for students to get right to work and does not involve them signing up for their own account.

Tinkercad Basic Skills

tinkercad basic skills main page screenshot

Before you start a new project, you’ll be redirected to “Learning the Moves.” This is where you’ll learn Tinkercad basic skills, with the first being how to move simple shapes along the workplane. You can move the shapes by dragging them with your mouse and selecting the shape and pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard.

There are several more Tinkercad Basic Skills that you can learn by selecting any one of Tinkercad’s Basic Skills tutorials. Here you can learn about camera controls, moving circuit assembly, creating holes, and how to scale, copy, and paste. You can also select from Tinkercad’s many tutorials on how to create specific shapes, including a simple heart ring, Minecraft party glasses, cylinder earrings, and a bat button.

Keep in mind that there are a ton of Tinkercad Lessons, with some being more technical than others. While you may wish to go through them all before you begin your own project, it is not absolutely necessary. When you are ready to exit the lessons and begin your own masterpiece, click on the multicolored Tinkercad logo to return to your main Designs page.

Create a New Design

tinkercad create new design page screenshot

Now that you feel confident in your Tinkercad basic skills, you can begin designing! You can select from 3D Designs, Circuits, Codeblocks, or Lessons on the left-hand side of your dashboard. For the sake of this step-by-step guide, we are going to select “3D Designs” and “Create a new design.”

Get Designing!

tinkercad get designing main page screenshot

You’ll now be directed to a blank Workplane, where you can jump in right away. You have several options on the right-hand toolbar for what you can drag into your Workplane, including Basic Shapes, Text and Numbers, Characters, and Connectors. After simply dragging your objects in from the right sidebar, you can then use the “handle dots” on your objects to easily change their size or shape. If you decide you don’t like something, you can use the undo button or delete it altogether, which are also synced with your keyboard shortcuts.

Is Tinkercad the Right Tool For Me?

Whether you’re an educator, student, or are simply interested in 3D modeling, electronics, and coding, Tinkercad is a great way to get started. Set your students up for a career in one of these lucrative fields by beginning with this free, easy-to-use program!

Written by
Jamie Keet
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