Introduction: Jack O' Lantern

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

Return to Previous Lesson: Ghost

Lesson Overview:

Now we're going to carve a 3D pumpkin!

Step 1: Background

Every Halloween, millions upon millions of pumpkins are grown, sold, and brought home specifically for the purpose of carving scowling, evil visages in to the rind.

This carving is called a Jack o' Lantern.

This tradition goes back hundreds of years, though humans have been cultivating gourds for the specific purpose of carving for as long as 10,000 years!

But what is pumpkin carving? It's the process of removing solid material from a solid object to make decorative shapes.

Doesn't this sound like Tinkercad?

Let's make a Tinkercad Jack O' Lantern!

But first, we'll have to make a pumpkin...hrm...

Instructions

  1. Drag a sphere to the workplane and change the size to 60 mm deep, 20 mm wide and 40 mm high. This sphere represents one of the bumps on the outside of the pumpkin.
  2. Duplicate the sphere and rotate it slightly to the right. 22.7°, which is the first default, is slightly too much. You might try just 20°. The pumpkin will look best if you choose a rotation angle that divides into 360 evenly.
  3. After rotating the first copy, press the Command-D keys to use the Smart Duplicate function to create more spheres that are each rotated 20° from the previous one. This is your pumpkin.

Step 2: Creating the Pumpkin Shape

The pumpkin’s ridged shape is created by squishing a sphere, then creating duplicates and rotating them around the y-axis. When all of these shapes are grouped together, it creates a shape that looks just like a real pumpkin.

Instructions

  1. Drag a sphere to the workplane and change the size to 60 mm deep, 20 mm wide and 40 mm high. This sphere represents one of the bumps on the outside of the pumpkin.
  2. Duplicate the sphere and rotate it slightly to the right. 22.7°, which is the first default, is slightly too much. You might try just 20°. The pumpkin will look best if you choose a rotation angle that divides into 360 evenly.
  3. After rotating the first copy, press the Command-D keys to use the Smart Duplicate function to create more spheres that are each rotated 20° from the previous one. This is your pumpkin.

Step 3: Carving the Face

This step will create the eyes.

Instructions

  1. Drag a green roof shape to the workplane. Resize the roof to be roughly 4 cm tall and 6 cm wide. The exact size is not important-these are the eyes and you can construct them anyway you want. The depth is not important as long as it is more than 10 mm..
  2. Place the eye on your pumpkin’s face wherever you like it.
  3. Duplicate the eye and rotate 180° around the Y-axis so that the opposite end is now facing the camera. This will be the other eye. Position the duplicate where you want it.
  4. Select both eyes using the shift key and turn them into holes.
  5. Group the eyes.

Step 4: Creating an Angry Face

This step will show you how to make fangs for the pumpkin.

Instructions

  1. Move a green roof shape to the work plane and resize it so that it is 3 mm across and 6 mm high. The depth does not matter. This is the first fang.
  2. Duplicate this fang and slide it to the right 8 mm. Again, the exact size does not matter-just choose the right amount to get the effect you want.
  3. Duplicate this one again, but move it back in between the first two and shrink it 3 mm vertically. Duplicate this one across the top row.
  4. Now group all of your teeth together and turn them into a hole.
  5. Slide your teeth into the pumpkin and move them to the right place (which is up to you). Leave some of the object sticking out in the front. When the teeth are in the right place, select all objects and group them.

Step 5: Creating a Smile

This step will show you how to create a smile for your pumpkin. You can choose either of the faces.

Instructions

  1. Drag a round roof shape to the workplace.
  2. Rotate the shape 180° so that the flat side is on top.
  3. Drag another round roof shape to the work plane and rotate it as well. Place it 3 mm above the first roof shape and make it slightly wider.
  4. Turn the top roof shape into a hole, then select the bottom roof shape and group them together. Now you have your smile. Place the smile where you want it in the pumpkin but leave some of the object sticking out the front.

Step 6: Making the Pumpkin Hollow

This step will make the inside of the pumpkin hollow so we can put an LED inside. Fortunately, making a virtual pumpkin hollow is much easier than making a real pumpkin hollow.

Instructions

  1. Drag a sphere to the work plane and resize it to 40 mm high, 50 mm deep and 50 mm wide. Since the first sphere was 60, this will leave walls 5 mm thick at the thinnest point (between the bulges of the pumpkin).
  2. Turn this new sphere into a hole.
  3. Use the align function to align to the midpoint on all three axes.
  4. Wait until you put the stem on to group everything. Grouping after the stem will cut off the bottom of the stem inside the pumpkin.

Step 7: Creating a Stem

We could create a stem from multiple pieces and combine them together, but there is a preset shape that works fairly well: the bunny ear.

Instructions

  1. Scroll down to the extras section in the shape drawer on the right.
  2. Drag a bunny ear to the workplane.
  3. Resize the bunny ear to 15 mm tall and 5 mm wide or whatever you think is right. Then move it to the top of the pumpkin.
  4. Group all of your shapes.

Step 8: Flattening the Bottom

To make sure that the pumpkin does not roll, let's make the bottom flat by cutting off one millimeter.

Instructions

  1. Drag a red box to the workplane and resize it to be one millimeter tall, 60 mm wide and 60 mm deep.
  2. Slide it under the pumpkin and group the two shapes together.
  3. Slide the pumpkin down 1 mm so that it is again flat on the workplane.

Step 9: Carving a Hole for the LED

This step will create a plug to hold an LED and a coin battery. For simplicity, we are just going to make a slot into which we can slide the coin battery and the LED. However, want the plug to look just like the pumpkin so we are going duplicate the pumpkin and cut the right shape from the duplicate. We are going to use CR 2032 battery, which are 20 mm wide and 3.6 mm thick so the hole needs to be at least 20 mm.

Instructions

  1. Duplicate the pumpkin and slide the copy to the right of the workplane.
  2. Drag a cylinder shape to the workplane and resize to 10 mm tall and 25 mm deep and 25 mm wide.
  3. Using the Align function, position the cylinder in the middle of the pumpkin on the left.
  4. Turn the cylinder into a hole and group it with the pumpkin.
  5. This will carve a hole into the bottom of the pumpkin.

Step 10: Creating a Plug

This step will create a plug for the bottom of the pumpkin. To preserve the exterior shape of the pumpkin, we are going to cut the plug from the duplicate pumpkin.

Instructions

  1. Drag a cylinder to the workplane and resize it to be 10 mm tall and 24 mm in diameter.
  2. Turn the cylinder into a hole.
  3. Drag a red box to the workplane and resize it to be 70 mm in all directions.
  4. Use the Align function to center the cylinder on the bottom of the box.
  5. Group the cylinder and the box together.
  6. Turn the box into a hole.
  7. Use the Align function to center the box on the pumpkin.
  8. Group the pumpkin and the box.
  9. You will be left with a plug exactly the same shape but slightly smaller than the hole in the original pumpkin.

Step 11: Creating the Battery Holder

This step will create two small walls on top of the plug to hold the battery and LED upright.

Instructions

  1. Drag a cylinder to the workplane and resize it to be 10 mm tall and 24 mm in diameter.
  2. Turn the cylinder into a hole.
  3. Drag a red box to the workplane and resize it to be 70 mm in all directions.
  4. Use the Align function to center the cylinder on the bottom of the box.
  5. Group the cylinder and the box together.
  6. Turn the box into a hole.
  7. Use the Align function to center the box on the pumpkin.
  8. Group the pumpkin and the box.
  9. You will be left with a plug exactly the same shape but slightly smaller than the hole in the original pumpkin.

Step 12: Printing Your Pumpkin

This shape should print without modifications on most 3D printers. Some printers may require support for the eyes and mouth but you should try printing without support first.

In the next lesson you will learn to make a headstone!

Next Lesson:Celtic Cross

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