Introduction: Obelisk Tombstone

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

Return to Previous Lesson: Celtic Cross

Lesson Overview:

Now we're going to make an obelisk!

Step 1: Background

This project will create an obelisk tombstone for Halloween. The original model can be found in the content library, but it is not editable in Tinkercad. In this lesson, you will learn how to combine shapes to create the tapered look of the obelisk. You can then customize with your lettering, cracks or anything else to make it scary.

Step 2: Creating the Base

This step will create a slightly tapered base for the obelisk. We’ll use this technique several times to create tapered square shapes.


  1. Drag a box to the work plane and resize it to 22 mm wide, 22 mm deep and 10 mm high.
  2. Drag a purple wedge to the work plane and rotate it so that the hypotenuse (side opposite the right angle) is to the left and one of the equal flat edges is on top. Resize it to be 22 mm deep, 1 mm wide and 10 mm tall. We’re going to use this to cut a sliver out of the box to make it look tapered.
  3. Slide the wedge into the edge of the box so that the vertical edges meet and the wider edge of the wedge is on top.
  4. Repeat this for all 4 sides of the box.
  5. Turn all of the wedges into holes and then group.

Step 3: Creating a Tapered Level

This level has a bigger taper and we will duplicate the same process from step one.


  1. Create a box that is 20 mm across, 20 mm wide and 5 mm tall. Place this box on top of your first shape. You can use the Align tool and align to both horizontal midpoints.
  2. Drag a purple wedge to the workplane and rotate it so that the long side is facing to the bottom left and the vertical side is on the right.
  3. Resize it to be 20 mm deep, 5 mm high and 2.5 mm wide (You may need to set 'Snap Grid' in the bottom right corner to 0.5mm.) Position it so that it will have the same trimming effect on your new box.
  4. Duplicate this wedge and rotate 180° around the z-axis. Position the new wedge along another edge.
  5. Press Command-D to duplicate again and the smart duplicate function should place another copy on the adjoining edge. Put wedges on all four edges.
  6. Select everything created so far and group.

Step 4: Creating the Third and Fourth Layer (1 of 2)

We are going to copy the first and second layers to make the third and fourth. The third layer will be smaller than the first, but otherwise the same. The fourth has steeper slopes than the second, but we can still modified pieces we already created.


  1. Select the first two layers that you created. Duplicate these and raise the copy 15 mm up.
  2. Change the dimensions so that this new object is 15 mm x 15 mm on the bottom and 11 mm high.
  3. Select only the new fourth layer and click ungroup. This will give us access to the wedges that we created before.
  4. Delete all but one wedge.
  5. Resize this wedge to be 2.5 mm high and 2 mm wide. The longest dimension should stay the same. You may notice that the dimensions of the wedge may no long fit comfortably within the grid, thus making it challenging, at first, to make the dimensions exact or to have the parts line up. This is not a problem; resize the wedge as directed above. We will use the align tool to assure that the final result is as desired.

Step 5: Creating the Third and Fourth Layer (2 of 2)

Continuing the creation of the third and fourth layer


  1. Duplicate this wedge and rotate in 90° increments around the z-axis.
  2. One at a time, use the align tool to align each wedge to the corresponding side of the box, and then group that wedge and the box.
  3. When all wedges have been combined, select all the objects and use the align tool to center all the pieces.

Step 6: Creating the Fifth Layer

This layer is simple since we've already created the shape. We are going to copy the very first layer and reuse it.


  1. By now, the top of the Obelisk may no long align perfectly with the grid. We can use the workplane helper to make building atop the Obelisk easier. From the Helpers section of the screen on the right, drag the workplane helper to the top of the fourth layer.
  2. Make a duplicate of the first layer.
  3. Move this tapered box up to the top layer and resize to fit. The bottom should be 9.7 mm wide, 9.7 mm deep and 6.7 mm tall.

Step 7: Creating the Bulge (1 of 2)

The next layer is a bulge - the opposite of our tapers so far. Fortunately, we already have a layer that can work for this.


  1. Set the work plane to the top of the fifth layer.
  2. Duplicate the fourth layer.
  3. Rotate this new object 180° about the X or Y axis so that the wider section this facing up. Use the Align function to center.

Step 8: Creating the Bulge (2 of 2)

Continuation of the previous step


  1. Create a box that is a 12.5 mm wide, 12.5 mm deep and 5 mm tall. Place this box on top.
  2. Duplicate the first part of the bulge and rotate 180° about the X or Y axis so the narrower part is on top. Slide this part to the top of the box.

Step 9: Creating the Final Tall Piece (1 of 2)

Now we have to create the final tall piece in the pyramid. By now you should be used to process.


  1. Move the work plane to the top of the tower.
  2. Create a new box that is 8.6 mm wide, 8.6 deep and 34 mm tall.
  3. Use the Align function to center this new object.
  4. Create a wedge and rotate so that the longest side faces towards the inside of the obelisk and a vertical side is on top.
  5. Resize this wedge to be 3 mm wide, 8.6 deep and 34 mm tall.

Step 10: Creating the Final Tall Piece (2 of 2)

Continuing from the last step


  1. Place the wedge along the side of your new tall box so that it will cut a sliver.
  2. Turn the wedge into a hole.
  3. Duplicate this wedge, rotate 90° and place along another side.
  4. Repeat until all four sides have wedges, then group.
  5. Move the Workplane to the topmost object.
  6. Drag a pyramid from the shape drawer and resized to 5.2 mm wide, 5.2 mm deep and 3.5 mm tall.
  7. Select all the pieces and use the Aligned function to center.
  8. Group everything.

Step 11: Extra Credit – Writing and Weathering

No tombstone is complete without writing and a few cracks. We'll give you an example, but how would you change it?


  1. Move the Workplane to a side face of the third layer.
  2. Use the text Shape Generator to create RIP or any other text you want.
  3. Align the text to the face.
  4. Push the letters about 1 mm into the surface.
  5. Turn the letters into a hole and group them with the rest of the Obelisk.

Step 12: Printing Your Obelisk

This model should print well. There are overhangs, but they are around 45°, which most printers can print without supports.

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

Next Lesson:Casket