Introduction: Building a 3D Model of Your Dream Home in TinkerCAD

This Instructable will guide you through how to create a 3D model of your dream home in TinkerCAD. If you haven't already, create a TinkerCAD account and get familiarized with the tools available.

Supplies

1) TinkerCAD account

2) Approximately 2 hours

Step 1: What Architectural Style Do You Like?

It will be much easier to create your dream home in TinkerCAD if you have some images for inspiration. First, let's narrow down your preferences to a specific architectural style. Explore these web sites to find inspiration for your favorite home architectural style:

Do you prefer videos?

A) Video on “7 home styles explained.”

B) Video on “15 home styles”

Do you prefer pictures?

C) Infographics on home styles

D) Guide to home styles

E) List of home styles

From the resources listed above, which architectural style do you like the most, and why? I personally like the Contemporary style listed in link C, because it has big windows, lots of modular sections, angled roofs, and a second-floor patio directly off the bedroom.

Step 2: Find a Specific Home Listing.

Now find a real-life home whose design inspires you. Aim to find a web site with lots of pictures from different angles. Methods of finding an image of a home:

A) Search Zillow (or another real-estate site) and find a listing of a house. The house could be in your zip code or in a whole different country!

B) Search Google Images (or Pinterest) for the architectural style you identified in Question #3. For instance, I searched “contemporary style home” and found the house in the example above through Pinterest. Image source.

Step 3: Explore Published TinkerCAD House Models.

The best way to learn how to build in TinkerCAD is by examining, dissecting, and reverse-engineering other people's creations. Check out some of these examples of TinkerCAD house models of various levels of complexity:

Easy example: Simpson's house

Medium example: The house from Up

Complex examples: Modern-style house, Victorian-style house

Step 4: In TinkerCAD, Lay the Building Blocks of Your Home.

Using the images you've found of your real-life dream home, lay the "building blocks" of your home in TinkerCAD. For now, primarily use the BOX tool and the ROOF tool.

As you build, consider these factors:

1) Who is your dream home designed for? You alone? Your current family? Your future family? A fraternity/sorority? You and your zoo of animals?

2) Does the placement of each part of your home make sense? A home theater or basketball court next to a bedroom seems like a bad idea.

3) What does the color of each part of your home say about the material it’s made of? Grey = concrete/stone/aluminum/steel, Red = brick, Brown = dirt/wood, Green = Grass, Blue = Water, Transparent = Glass. Any color could represent a painted surface.

4) How will the physical location of your home and the climate affect your home’s design? Is your home in the mountains? In a big city? Near the beach? In the arctic, or the tropics? If your home is near the beach, it ought to be on stilts to protect against storm surge. If your home is in a big city, you might want smaller windows for privacy.

5) What are the cardinal directions of your home, and how do they affect the design of your home? The east side of a home might be a great place to put a bedroom (in order to get morning sun). The south side of a home might be a great place for a covered deck or swimming pool where residents can hang out in the afternoon. In a colder climate, the north side of a home would retain snow and ice. Bad place for a driveway!

6) What is the environmental impact of your home? Does it blend in seamlessly with the environment, or does it stick out? Will your home require substantial heating/cooling? Will it require lots of electricity/water? Can it be self sustained off grid (using solar for power, wells for water)?

Step 5: Add Doors, Windows, Landscaping.

Now add features to your home to make it realistic. Be creative with your use of TinkerCAD shapes to represent your ideas. Windows can be transparent boxes, or holes that you group with your home, or solid boxes with panes. There is no one right way to do anything in TinkerCAD, and that's the beauty of it!

Step 6: Add Accessories to Make the Home of Your Dreams.

Consider adding some of the following accessories to make your home complete:

A driveway to a carport or garage.

An elevated deck, patio, or balcony with supporting columns.

A chimney that is directly above the family room. (You wouldn’t put a fireplace in a bathroom, would you?)

Decorated windows (ledges, flower boxes, shutters, etc.)

Skylights on the roof. (Skylights facing south will get direct sun. Skylights facing north will get indirect light. Which do you want?)

A staircase leading from one level to a higher level.

Ridged columns supporting a balcony or overhang.

Arched doors.

A satellite dish. (These are angled south, toward geostationary satellites over the equator.)

Outdoor lamps. (These should be near walkways.)

A glass greenhouse.

Gutters and downspouts. (Consider where the downspouts lead. That area could potentially collect water and flood.)

An outdoor shed/barn/doghouse.

A fence around a yard.

A rooftop terrace/helipad.

Tennis/basketball/volleyball court.

Outdoor furniture/grill.

Trees/bushes/hedges.

Landscaping/gardens.

A mailbox.

Solar panels/wind turbine. (Solar panels should face south for max sun.)

Swimming pool/Jacuzzi/pond.

Gargoyles/statues.

Astronomical observatory/telescope.

Step 7: Check Out Some of These Examples That My Students Created!

These were created by my 9th-11th grade students in 2020 in a remote-learning engineering class. Imagine what you could create and do it!

Step 8: Share Your Work! Create a Screencast or a Real Estate Flyer.

Share your work by creating a screencast in which you give prospective buyers a virtual tour of your home, or by creating a flyer with images of your home from different perspectives.

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