Introduction: Mutations | How to Create Life-Size Models in Tinkercad (Mashup)

Today you will create an animal mutation, using at least two qualities from existing organisms to make a new one. You will also learn how to make it life sized, to teach you how to adjust model sizes in Tinkercad for when you want to use things like 3D printing. Below are three examples of student work from previous years (combined into one file for simplicity). You can interact with them by clicking and dragging around in the box.


A computer, a compatible browser like Chrome, and a connection to the internet.

Step 1: Brainstorm and Create a New File

You'll need to start by deciding what qualities to use. Typically, students choose to start with the body of an organism and add the traits of others to it, but you can start from scratch if you want. Get creative with your animal. Once you have come up with the traits and general idea of the mutation you want to make, you'll need to go to your Tinkercad dashboard and hit 'Create New Design' near the top to make a blank file. Figure out the general dimensions of what you want your creation to be, and then double the length and width to find what you should set your workplane size to. Then click 'Edit Grid' in the bottom right and enter the correct unit of measurement and length and width of your workplane. Now you are ready to create your mutation.

Step 2: Create Your Mashup

Now you must create your mutation. Drag shapes from the right bar onto the workplane. You can use the little black squares that appear to change the dimensions of the shapes, but for the main body shape you should change the dimensions in the shape properties box to make it realistically sized, then adjust from there. Now you can add more shapes until you have completed your mutation, but make sure that the dimensions are realistic, and you can even use the built-in Ruler tool to double check!

Step 3: Combine, Color and Export Your Work

Now you can recolor the shapes by selecting them, and clicking on the current color in the shape properties menu to bring up the color selection tool, and choose colors. Once you are happy with your work, you can hold <SHIFT> and select all of the shapes, then let go of <SHIFT> and hit <CTRL + G> to combine all of the shapes together into one. Then you can export your project by clicking Export in the top right, and choosing .STL as the file type. You're done! You can show it off to your friends now, or even 3D print it if it's small enough.