Ultimate Beginners Guide to 3D Design

Introduction: Ultimate Beginners Guide to 3D Design

If you're just getting into 3D printing (like me), you will probably need to make a 3D model some day, so you can design your own prints whenever you want.

Also, a lot of people think that 3D design is very hard, but that is only the case with the big and complicated programs, like Blender. This is exactly why I am making this Instructable for all of you starters.

So, today I will be starting you off on how to start designing 3D models, using TinkerCad!

Step 1: Go to the Website and Make an Account (skip This If You Already Have an Autodesk Account)

Firstly, you have to go to the website of TinkerCad: http://www.tinkercad.com

And there you can find login/sign up, so then you follow the steps there.

When you did that, you can continue with the next steps.

Tip: Check out all the rest of Autodesk's programs, because they are a lot of different and useful programsto use for modeling, printing, and even a couple for Arduino.

Step 2: Start Getting to Know the Software Better/controls

Disclaimer: It's not actually software, but it shure does function like software.

The best thing you can do to get started with TinkerCad, is by doing the lessons included on the website, or you can skip the lessons and follow this Instructable. I don't advise that, because the lessons are really helpful, but I do have some tutorials here for you.

To start, look at the picture at the top of this step to see some of the basic controls you can use to change how you look at your creation.

Tip: you can also use some of the Windows/Apple keyboard combo's in TinkerCad (like CTRL+C/X or CTRL+Z or CTRL+Y or CTRL+V (on Apple CTRL is CMD))

Step 3: Get a Good Look at the UI

Now, you need to have a very good look at the UI, to get a feel for what you can do.

A pro-tip: Go ahead and try, make sure to experiment and see it for yourself. And don't hesitate to make mistakes.

For this, you can consult the picture I included at the top of this step, to see what buttons do what.

Step 4: More Advanced Controls

Now, I will show you how you can edit the size and placement of your shapes on the workplane.

All of these controls look very complicated in the beginning, but as I said earlier, you have to try it for yourself to get a good feel for it.

For this (again) look at the image I added.

Step 5: Now Get Out There and Try It Out!

Now this step may seem lame to you.

Maybe it is, but what I am trying to tell you, that the best way to learn it is to try it yourself.

When I was just beginning with 3D design, TinkerCad seemed complicated, but once you get to know it better, you get better at it.

Maybe some day you will be designing a Millenium Falcon from Star Wars, using this website!

Step 6: Some Tips

To start with, get out there and try it for yourself and experiment!

Also, you should check out the gallery of TinkerCad to get some inspiration.

You can also download your designs as some supported files for 3D printing (.stl etc.) or for CNC mills (.svg).

When you get tired of the limited options, check out 123D Design (free software).

If you ever get lost, take a look at the giant database of help videos and pages for some further instructions.

You can also download the Tinkerplay app to design and edit (mainly characters and figurines) on the go!

A last tip: For questions, make sure to send me a message, or leave a comment below the Instructable, I love to help.

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh and if you guys want to see what I have designed on TinkerCAD (or what I've used it for) I'll unprivate my creations, or you can PM me, and I will send you the model.


    Reply 7 years ago

    I started trying to learn these programs just this week and went from tinkercad to 123d like you said in your instructable. I was so happy that 123d had many of the functions that I thought tinkercad lacked. I began designing things and loved it but then 123d started to randomly crash. is this common? its very irritating!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know if this is common, because I've never really had it.

    It probably is your internet, or it can also be what device you are using.

    I can't really help you there, maybe you can just ask the Autodesk team!