Introduction: Backpack Zipper Pull

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

Return to Previous Lesson: Custom Stamp

Lesson Overview:

Now we're going to make a zipper pull!

Step 1: Background

We've made custom buttons for our button up shirts, and that's great when you wear one...but how often is that?

Your backpack, however, goes with you everywhere! And how do you close your backpack? Probably zippers!

We'll get you started on a basic zipper pull, but where you go with it is up to you!

Ready to add sweet swag to your book bag?


  1. Continue to the next step.

Step 2: First Element of a Repeating Pattern

The first function of a zipper pull is to make a comfortable grip for our fingers. We're going to create a texture that adds traction to the pull, and to easily and quickly do that, we're going to make a pattern.

First, we'll create the object to pattern.


  1. Drag a sphere from the geometric shapes menu onto the workplane.
  2. Resize the sphere so it is 3 mm wide, 20 mm deep and 7 mm tall.
  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 3: Duplicating the Sphere

This step will duplicate the sphere to make the rest of the grip.

Tinkercad has a Smart Duplicate function that will watch how you are changing your duplicate and then it will repeat that change every time you make a new duplicate. This helps make patterns easy!


  1. Select the sphere, and then, from the Edit menu, click Duplicate to make an exact copy.
  2. Using the arrow keys, nudge the copy 2 mm to the right.
  3. Duplicate this object 7 more times. You'll notice that Duplicate is now nudging your duplicates for you!
  4. Group your spheres so they are easier to work with.
  5. Continue to the next step.

Step 4: Making the Bottom Flat for Printing

This object would not print easily on a 3-D printer since it has a round bottom. Your 3D printer really wants a nice flat surface on the first layer to anchor your part as it prints.

So, let's make the bottom flat!


  1. Drag out a box to the workplane and resize it so that it is 1 mm tall, 20 mm deep and 20 mm wide.
  2. Turn the box into a hole by clicking the hole button on the inspector.
  3. Slide the spheres on top of the new flat box.
  4. Select everything and click the group button. The box will cut off the bottom of the spheres to make them flat.
  5. Continue to the next step.

Step 5: Creating the Zipper Attachment

This step will create an attachment loop for connecting your zipper to the zipper pull.


  1. Drag a light blue curved roof to the work area.
  2. Rotate it so one of the two flat ends is facing down, then lift it one mm off of the workplane (1mm along the Z axis)
  3. Resize the object so it is 12mm along the Y axis, 20mm along the X axis and 4mm along the Z axis.
  4. Select the blue spheres and the roof object and center these two objects along the Y and Z axes. Make sure about 5mm of the roof extends past our patterned grip.
  5. Select all the items by pressing Command-A on a Mac or Control-A on a Windows machine and then click group in the upper right corner.
  6. Continue to the next step.

Step 6: Creating the Zipper Hole

This last step cuts a hole in the top of the zipper pull so you can thread a key-ring or a wire through it.


  1. Drag a cylinder to the workplane and resize it to 5 mm tall, and 3 mm in diameter. Turn it into a hole.
  2. Move it to the center of the round roof.
  3. Select all objects and group.
  4. You're done designing, now let's print it!
  5. Continue to the next ste

Step 7: Printing Your Zipper Pull

Nice job!!

With the nice flat bottom on this zipper pull, this should print nicely on all 3-D printers.


  1. From the design menu, click, 'Download for 3D Printing.'
  2. You will see a few different file options, select the .STL option. Your file will now download to your computer and is ready for transfer to your 3D Printer!

In the next lesson you will learn to make your own spork!

Next Lesson:Build a Spork for Outerspace