Introduction: Silly Repairs and Improvements Using Tinkercad

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give my two older children plus a friend's child a challenge on Tinkercad. I had introduced them to Tinkercad previously and they had enjoyed playing around with it. I told them that we could submit their work into the competition if they become more familiar with the program and do well.

I suggested that they each find a broken, everyday household item and use the Tinkercad software to design a fix for it. In a second step, they were to improve the fixed item in a silly way. Once they had come up with some ideas, we discussed how to implement them on Tinkercad. Apart from some occasional advice and troubleshooting they did all of the work by themselves. As you will see below, a lot of thought and effort went into their designs and the results were quite creative.


We used:

• A Web Browser (Chrome)

• A Free Tinkercad account courtesy of Autodesk.

Step 1: Glasses Temple Replacement + Bumper

My oldest child took up the task of fixing his younger sibling's glasses. Unfortunately, the glasses had been dropped and one of the temples had snapped off at the hinge. To repair the glasses, my son first designed a new, well-shaped temple (see dark blue). This would then be connected to a receiving node (see turquoise) via a screw and nut. Since the receiving node is fitted with a large circular face, it could easily and securely be glued to the existing glasses frame. To improve the repaired glasses my son created a bumper (see light blue), knowing that his younger sibling frequently drops or mistreats his glasses. A series of clips attached to the bumper would snap it into place over the glasses frame and temples. The bumper is equipped with extra padded protection at the end pieces as well as the bridge. It would be created out of a flexible material to allow the closing of the glasses via the extra material around the hinges.

Step 2: Shampoo Bottle + Applicator

My daughter decided to fix a shampoo bottle whose cap had been shattered. She began by re-creating the shampoo bottle in Tinkercad and making a new cap for it (see on the right of the bottle). Having completed this fix, she took the approach of re-designing the cap completely. Her revamped applicator cap (see attached to the bottle) tackles the problem of applying shampoo evenly throughout the head. The plastic spout connects to a rubbery insert with many small extrusions. When the bottle is squeezed during application, product comes out through multiple small holes along the face of the insert. The extrusions help distribute shampoo throughout the hair and add a fun scalp massage.

Step 3: Mug Handle Replacement + Heat Sink

My friend's son, for the final silly creation, repaired a broken tea mug. This ceramic mug had a broken handle from being dropped. In a first step, he created a replacement handle by designing two bands that are secured to the cup and then connected to each other by a loop (see blue). Next, he took the repaired mug and added a heatsink to it to allow hot tea to cool down faster (see first image, gray). The heatsink, which wraps around the cup on two hinges and clasps together under the new handle, removes the beverage's heat quickly. Much like in a PC, he explained, the metal of the heat sink conducts the heat away from the mug and into the "gills" where the increased surface area leads to a fast heat exchange into the surrounding air. (To allow direct contact with the mug, the heatsink has rails on the inside in which the handle's bands can run). The repaired mug is quite geeky and would be fun to drink out.

Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest

Third Prize in the
Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest