Tinkercad is a 3D design tool that allows you to create and then print your work on a 3D printer. It has a video tutorial to start you off, followed by a number of lessons to get you use to the tool. It is essentially step by step. You can use templates to start a new design or create from scratch. I personally see the opportunity of using it in a textiles setting with regard to creating embellishments to items created and also in the area of jewellery making at the school I teach in.

 

Limitations or things to be aware of:

  • This relies heavily on text to work through the tutorials so this may frustrate some students, yet most would dive in with a play and tinker approach accepting that they will learn from mistakes.
  • It is totally web-based so is reliant on a good internet connection and using the browsers as suggested. This may be problematic in some situations, so testing on site is important.
  • You must be 13 years or older to have an account
  • It was bought out by autodesk in 2013, although tinkercad appears free there is evidence of a pricing structure that may be required depending on use

 

Bonuses:

  • It is self paced re the tutorials, so students can work through at their pace.
  • It allows the teacher to determine the use of the tool – you’re not locked down in the  tool.
  • There are examples available of other peoples work for inspiration.
  • Students create an account where their work is saved

 

Video  of the tool

 

 

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