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
- 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