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Let's face it: when you think "model rocket" and "Tinkercad in less than 30 minutes", you probably have an image of a simple cylinder with a cone on top. However, Tinkercad is really powerful under the hood, and the apparently simple set of tools has great creative possibilities.

In this Instructable, I'll show you some techniques that will let you get results that look like those from much more elaborate 3D modeling packages. When we're done, we'll have a slick looking space plane.

You'll need:

  • A computer with an Internet connection
  • A browser that supports WebGL (Chrome, Firefox and Safari are all good)
  • A 3D printer (optional)

Step 1: Getting Started: Using Hollow Material to Trim Shapes

The first technique is one you're probably already familiar with, if you've used Tinkercad. Create a shape, assign the "Hollow" material to it, and you can use it to carve or reshape other shapes.

In this example, we're using this technique to make an engine pod for our space plane.

Add a sphere, then a rectangle. Flatten the rectangle and tuck it under the sphere. Set the material of the rectangle to "hollow" and you've sliced off the bottom of the sphere. Group the two objects, and now you can work with only the trimmed sphere.

<p>For the wings on step 4, you go from the cone being completely symmetrical to slightly off, creating the swept-back effect. How do you do that? I can only seem to scale things symmetrically. </p>

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