Introduction: 3D Pangolin

Believe it or not, the most poached animals in the world aren't elephants, rhinos, or tigers.

They're small scaly, anteater-like mammals known as pangolins.

Pangolins are insectivorous mammals, ranging from 12 to 39 inches in length, and weighing up to 40 pounds. They prefer savannah woodlands, floodplain grasslands, dry & sandy areas, and rocky slopes as habitats.

Over the past decade, over 1 million pangolins have been slaughtered. Each year, more than 100,000 pangolins are killed.

Due to these unsettling numbers, pangolins might go extinct before most people know they exist...because most people don’t know they exist. Please help save the pangolin.


Tinkercad, a 3D design software

Step 1: Creating the Body

First, I created the overall body shape as the focus of this project. I used a cylinder with an ovular base to create the main abdomen area, and a paraboloid for the head and snout. To create the tail, I used two triangular prisms, grouping them together. For the legs, I used the scribble tool to give them a soft stubby look, but you can use triangular prisms if you like.

After creating the body shape, group the shapes together and switch the colour to dark grey.

Notes: The tail is an important feature, so make sure it's about 3/4 of the cylinder's size. The legs shouldn't be too large or long.

Step 2: Creating the Scales

The most notable feature of pangolins are their scales (which is quite unusual in mammal species), like a protective suit of armor.

When creating the scales, I originally used cylinders, then triangular prisms but they didn't feel right to me. So, I used the scribble tool to create the scale shape, then used a cylinder to fill the inside. The outer colour of the scale should be light brown, and the filling should be dark brown. Group these together, and get ready for the next step.

Step 3: Patience Required: Scales+Body

In this step, we attach the scales to the body of the pangolin. This is where the duplicate tool comes in handy.

Attach the scales the body of the pangolin by duplicating them, then rotating them. As shown in the picture, you can duplicate and assemble the scales on the ground, then rotate and adjust the height, placing them on the body. Do the same for the sides of the pangolin.

Note: Leave the head and underside of the pangolin scaleless. These are the most vulnerable points for these mammals. By rolling into a ball when threatened, it protects them from most predators...except humans.

Step 4: Eye See You

Add black spheres to the sides of your pangolin's head to represent eyes.

Yay! You've now finished your pangolins. Now, it's time for the scenery.

Step 5: Home Sweet Home

These mammals are fond of savannah woodlands, floodplain grasslands, dry & sandy areas, and rocky slopes. In this case, I chose a sandy area with a little vegetation (although you could create a magical cloud castle for them to live in if you really wanted to).

Using a thin beige rectangular prism, you can show the sandy area that the pangolin is walking upon. Using the scribble feature, you can create grass, trees, etc. For extra detail you can also add a line of red dots, representing a marching army of ants.

Step 6: Save the Pangolins

Voila! You have now made your very own pangolin!
Unfortunately, saving these creatures is way harder than creating models of them. Unless we step up and take action, nothing is going to get better. That doesn't just apply to pangolins, it goes for pollution, global warming, and climate change.
By creating a model of an animal facing extinction that so few people know about, we can make sure these creatures get the help they deserve.
Thank you!🌱

Tinkercad Student Design Contest

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