Dear all, welcome to our new tutorial dedicated to Autodesk Tinkercad
2021, an online CAD tool completely free to use! In just 9 minutes
we will see everything you need to know to start using it!
Autodesk Tinkercad is a free online CAD tool for everyone. It is the
best choice to learn CAD for the first time but also a great solution to
bring experiments and ideas into life with 3D printers. It is 100% safe
to use for kids.
To start working on Tinkercad just open its page and perform a login.
The first time you may need to register any email address to create an
At this point you can start building several kinds of projects, including
3D CAD Designs, electrical Circuits or animations with Codeblocks. In this
beginner tutorial we won't see the Circuits since these require basic
knowledge on electronics.
Select 3D Designs and click on Create new design to start. You will get
a main preview with several buttons on top and other features on the right
panel, which can be hidden if necessary.
From this panel you can browse for loads of ready templates, from basic
geometrical shapes to 3D text, letters, numbers, character design home
design and much more. You can also use the Import button above to start
from any 3D project you have.
Let's start adding any basic shape. Just select it and place it on the
preview with your cursor. To drop it correctly you can right-click and
drag to 3D rotate and use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
Once the object is placed you can click on it to select it and adjust its
properties from the dialog box on the right such as radius, smoothness,
length, width and height. You can also click on Solid to select its color
and transparency level. You also have the Hole option but we will see
this one later in this video.
Other templates can work differently. If you drop any Scribble the
workspace will change in order to ease your brush on a 2D environment.
You can always check its 3D result in the top right corner.
At the bottom you can use the Erase tool to remove any brush and the
Shape tools to either brush or erase complex shapes by varying the current
radius. Use Done to apply all and come back to the main workspace.
If you see that the camera is not centered on the current object use the
Select text to drop any 3D text. Then adjust color, text content and its
font on the right. Other templates such as the Ring give you the
possibility to customize its section as you like.
Now let's see how to edit these objects. Select any and click and drag it
to move it. Consider that the object remains attached to the ground, here
represented by the blue Workplane.
Tinkercad also gives instant measurements starting from the dashed object
base and taking the unit defined from Edit Grid in the bottom right
corner. You can choose millimeters, inches and also resize the main blue
Workplane if you need some more space.
You can also move by holding down the ALT key to make fast copies from
the current object. If you make any mistake you can use the Undo and the Redo
buttons to undo and redo actions or the Delete button to remove the
You can also edit the object using its nodes. Hover over these to get
instant measurements on it and drag from these to resize or rotate. Use
the white nodes to resize freely, holding down the Shift key to save the
original aspect ratio. Whereas use the black ones to resize through a
single direction and the black cone on top to adjust the height in respect
to the ground Workplane. You can also use the arrows to rotate through the
internal or the external circle to change the rotation snap.
Also when you move and resize Tinkercad applies snappings by following the
Workplane grid. You can adjust these or turn it OFF by going to Snap Grid
in the bottom right corner.
You can also use the R key to drop any ruler. This can be useful to
take any relative distance under control.
The Workplane is a very important element, fixing the reference plane to
take when moving or editing. If you click on Workplane and then on any
object face this will be taken as reference, becoming a Workplane in
orange color. At this point any action is made by taking such new plane as
reference, easing the design process and taking everything under control
thanks to the blue projections on it. You can come back to the original
Workplane by enabling Workplane and clicking on any empty space.
As you start getting lots of objects on the project you can manage these
with the two buttons in the top right corner. The first one locks the
object, preventing any modification on it. The second one hides it, until
you click on the light button above.
Now let's see how to design complex object shapes. If you click and drag
over the interested objects you will select these all together, so that
you can move and edit these in the same way. If you also click on the
Group button you will create a unique object from these. This allows to
make complex shapes in case you have these objects overlapped. You can
undo all using Ungroup.
Moreover if you set any object as Hole and group this object with a solid
one you will subtract the first one from the second one. This way you
can extract complex shapes in no time. Always use Ungroup to undo.
Another useful feature is the possibility to add comments. Just click on
Notes and then on any object to type in.
As you work on the project make sure to check it from different
perspectives with the 3D ViewCube. You can also take a look at your
project on a Minecraft or a LEGO blocks world. Check these out!
Your project gets saved automatically by Tinkercad at each step. You can
also use Send To to share your project on forums or on Autodesk Fusion.
If you return to your account dashboard you retrieve all your projects
made on Tinkercad with a fast preview over these if you hold with your
cursor. You can click on any and use the Download button to export your
whole 3D project in several formats for 3D printers including .STL and
.OBJ. You can also export as .SVG to make 2D laser cuts.
Moreover you can make Codeblock projects to make your design animated.
By dragging and dropping actions in the correct order you can make and
edit objects, wait deadtimes or calculate math to process operations. The
result is an animated flow from shape creation to its animation from
start to finish!
This is all you can do with Tinkercad! To get more help make sure to
take guided Lessons from Tinkercad from either your dashboard or the
dedicated Learn page. Inside Gallery you can also pick and start from
any project made by the Tinkercad community!
Thank you very much for watching this tutorial! Visit our YouTube channel
for more software completely for free!
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