Introduction: How to Create a Clam Shell

Picture of How to Create a Clam Shell

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

In this lesson you will create a scallop shell, a very common shell you can find on a beach. You will start with a basic shape. If you are up for the challenge, try to create the basic shape from scratch. However, you don't have to.

We will learn how to use Duplicate to create half of a scallop shell. The Workplane Tool will help to edit the basic shape.

When finished, the shell will look something like the image below.

  1. Continue to the next step.

Step 1: Using Duplicate to Make a Copy

Picture of Using Duplicate to Make a Copy

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

In the Edit menu you will find Edit>Duplicate. Duplicate will create a copy of an object. The copy will be in the exact same location as the original and will look like nothing happened until one is selected and moved.

The Duplicate tool will remember any changes in scale, rotation, or position, that are done to the copy, as long as the copy remains selected. If the object is unselected, you will have to start over.

This is very helpful when making the scallop shell. When finished with this step, you should have something similar to the image below.

  1. Continue to the next step.

Step 2: Duplicate the Basic Shape

Picture of Duplicate the Basic Shape

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

The basic shape's sides are about 7.5 degrees. There will be two of them touching, so the duplicate will need to be rotated 15 degrees.

  1. Rotate the duplicate by 15 degrees on the Z axis.
  2. Keeping the duplicate selected, move it on the X and Y axes so that it's edge touches the original shape.
  3. Keeping the duplicate selected, Choose Edit>Duplicate.
  4. A second duplicate will be made and the same changes will be applied instantly.
  5. Keep choosing Edit>Duplicate until you have 5 total shapes.
  6. Select the original shape, and choose Edit>duplicate.
  7. This time, rotate the duplicate 15 degrees in the opposite direction.
  8. Keeping it selected, move the duplicate so that it's edge touches the original.
  9. Like before, choose Edit>Duplicate until there are 9 total shapes.

Step 3: Workplane Tool

Picture of Workplane Tool

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

The Workplane is the blue grid that acts like the floor of the 3D space. The Workplane acts like the ground. New objects chosen from the menu on the right will always rest on the Workplane when placed.

The Workplane Tool aligns the Workplane so that it is parallel with a plane of an existing object. Notice when the Workplane becomes orange, the "up" direction, or Z axis, will also change.

  1. Scaling the shapes without using the Workplane Tool will cause the shapes to become skewed. Look at the image to see what skewed shapes look like.
  2. Pressing the "W" key will switch to the Workplane Tool. Left click on the plane of the shape shown in the image.
  3. Shorten the length of the shape a few millimeters like the image shows.
  4. Continue to use the Workplane Tool, and change the length on the rest of the shapes.
  5. When finished, your shell half should look something like the image below.

Step 4: The Hole Material

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

Turning an object into a hole will remove material when grouped together with another object. Boxes were used to make the flat surface to work on when using the Workplane Tool.

  1. Select the middle shape and ungroup it.
  2. Delete the middle box that covers the tip of the basic shape.
  3. Select the Basic shape and the remaining two boxes, and group them back together.
  4. Repeat the previous steps with the rest of the shapes until the tips are now rounded.

Step 5: Final Details

Picture of Final Details

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

In this final steps we will add a few small details to bring it all together.

  1. Place an egg onto the workplane.
  2. Scale the egg down
  3. Rotate the egg 90 degrees toward the shell.
  4. Holding down Alt, click the black handle on the X axis. Widen the egg to about 18mm
  5. Select the center Basic shape of the shell and the egg. Choose Adjust>Align. Select the Basic shape again. This will allow the egg to align towards the shell.
  6. Move the egg so that it covers the small ends of shapes.

Step 6: Rounding the Edges

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

As was mentioned before, the Basic Shape was flattened to help use the Workplane Tool. In this step, the ends will be rounded again.

  1. Select the basic shape on the end.
  2. Ungroup it and select the box on the outer edge.
  3. Delete the box and group the other pieces back together.
  4. Repeat the previous steps for the other side.

Step 7: Creating the Other Half of the Shell

The following information is a single lesson in a larger Tinkercad project. Check out this and more projects on Tinkercad.

  1. Select all of the basic shapes, not including the egg.
  2. With them still selected, choose Edit>Duplicate.
  3. Select Adjust>Mirror and flip the half on the Z axis.
  4. Move the duplicate down until the inside edges touch.
  5. Select all object and change their color to white.
  6. If you finish early, help your classmates finish theirs.

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