# Puzzles With TinkerCad

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## Introduction: Puzzles With TinkerCad

I teach middle school students Tech ed. I have used TinkerCad for four years and use these puzzles as a warm-up to start the class. I give students a basic cube shape with a pattern missing, which they have to solve by using TinkerCad.

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## Step 1: Starting Your Puzzle

Once you've created an account, create a New Design. You can work with inches or millimeters by pressing the Edit Grid button in the lower right corner.

## Step 2: Start Building

My puzzles are 3 x 3 x 3 cubes but you can try more cubes or different shapes.

Start by dragging a box to the workplane. Copy and Paste, Duplicate (places a second shape in the same space as the original), or Drag and Drop two more boxes.

## Step 3: Complete the Layers

Select the row of 3 boxes and copy until the first layer is complete.

Drag a Temporary workplane to the top of your first layer.

Select all nine boxes, and hit Ctrl (Command) and D to Duplicate

Then press D a second time to place the second layer to the workplane. Or raise them using the single black arrow in the middle of the 9 boxes.

Repeat for third layer.

## Step 4: Finish Up

Select the pattern for your puzzle by holding Shift while clicking the boxes. Use the Group button to create your shape. You can select a different color.

Separate the new shape from the remaining boxes. Select the remaining boxes and group them together.

The objective of this activity is to have students create a missing part using the visual clues.

I use wooden cubes as a visual aid to help students.

## Step 5: Examples

Here are some examples I created in less than 5 minutes total. The kids love this activity.

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## 7 Discussions

I love this as a lesson plan! I teach Game & Simulation at New Smyrna Beach high school and I have my students create a 3D print that goes with their final game project at the end of the year. I like this as a warm up lesson but am a little fuzzy about what it is you mean by "create a missing part using visual clues". Are they just creating a puzzle block or are they trying to figure out how to create a missing piece?

Also how do you keep the lines in the cubes when you group them together for printing?

I was wondering that too, but I believe they designed the cubes in Tinkercad and then used that to create the puzzles using wood blocks.

Not exactly my intention, but also a very good option. See my reply above for a *hopefully* better explaination.

You can adjust the radius in the menu box, then copy and paste or duplicate the cubes.

I use the "Hide" option to remove the part that I want students to create. The visual clues refers to the part of the cube the is left, projected on a screen for the class. For students that need a little help, physical cubes (minus the missing part) are available. Hope this helps.

This is really slick!