Tinkercad is an easy-to-use tool for creating 3D models for 3D printing. It is part of the Autodesk family of products, which are not only free, but exist to enable students, makers, and individuals from all walks of life to design and make the things they imagine.
  1. Navigate in a web-gl enabled browser (Chrome or Firefox) to tinkercad.com
  2. If you have not already signed up for a free account, do so now
  3. To exit the tutorial and start experimenting, exploring and modeling click on the Tinkercad logo:
  4. To start a new model click on Create new design
  5. For greater precision I toggle the Snap grid value between 0.1 and 1.0
  6. To add shapes, letters and numbers you drag your selection from the palette on the right over to the workplane:
  7. You can get the dimensions of an object by moving the cursor over the nodes or handles:
  8. You can also get and/or modify the dimensions by laying down the ruler:

  9. Drag the ruler to the corner of an object and click on the circle to select a quadrant to measure. This is helpful when you want to measure distances between objects:
  10. You can resize your form by dragging the corner points (nodes) or using the ruler and editing the field:

  11. Dragging the corner node while holding shift will increase the X,Y and Z axis proportionally:
  12. You can copy and paste your forms using the standard keyboard commands. When you paste, Tinkercad will move your new form to the right:
  13. You can raise the height of your form by dragging the node below the cone
  14. You can subtract shapes from each other by placing the shape you want to remove, selecting it and then clicking on the the hole icon
  15. You can still adjust the location of the hole by dragging the form
  16. When you want to remove the shape, drag your cursor over or Shift+Left Click on both objects (what you want to keep and what you want to remove)

  17. When both are selected, click on Group
  18. To view the hole, rotate with the mouse:
  19. Tinkercad's rotate tool allows you to change the angle of your model or part of your model along the x, y or z axis.

    Tinkercad allows you to choose your resolution by providing three rings. Once you start the rotation you can move your mouse over the appropriate band. The center band allow you to adjust the rotation by full degrees. The inner band adjusts the angle in increments of 22.5° (half of 45°) and the outer band allows you the most precision.

    You can easily rotate your objects by clicking on the rotation icons and then selecting the band:
    rotation demo

  20. You can move the workplane by placing it on a side of any of your forms. This allows you to add more forms on an angle:
  21. To reset the workplane, just drag the workplane from the palette to the work area:
  22. Tinkercad's Align tool allows you to align multiple objects.

    To use the Align tool. Select at least two objects by Shift left-clicking on them or by dragging a box around them. Once selected click on the Adjust Option at the top. Then select Align and move your mouse over a node to preview the move. Click the node to align the objects.

    • Select objects and click Adjust:
    • Now select Align
    • Click on the node you would like the forms to align with:
      click_node1.png    click_node2.png
  23. To save the STL file, click on Design and select Download for 3D Printing:

    Then select on the STL button:
  24. Experiment, have fun, print
  25. When you are ready to print your object, click on the Design menu and select Properties.
  26. Rename your file and save the changes
  27. From the Design menu select Download for 3D Printing:
  28. Select on the STL button:
A few Tinkercad skill builder challenges

To get Tinkercad to run on Mac with Firefox you'll have to do the following:
  1. Type about:config in the Firefox 4 URL bar
  2. Type webgl in the search box
  3. webgl.force-enabled = true
  4. Go to https://tinkercad.com and refresh the page
Background: Driver support on older OS/Graphics card combinations is bad so the browser vendors have blacklisted a number of devices. All of Mac OS X 10.5 is blacklisted in Firefox, what you did above is circumvent this blacklisting.


on Windows XP, WebGL and acceleration is blacklisted.

To enable it, in command line:
	chrome.exe   --enable-webgl
  1. Close any open Chrome windows
  2. Find the Chrome shortcut you use (normally on the desktop or in the start menu) and right click on it.
  3. Select 'Properties'
  4. Add the '--ignore-gpu-blacklist' flag without the quotes at the end of the 'Target' box
  1. type "about:flags" on address bar of google chrome
  2. under "Override software rendering list" click "enable"
  3. scroll down and "relaunch google chrome"


In command line:
./chrome --enable-webgl
google-chrome --ignore-gpu-blacklist

Mouse shortcuts:

Right Click is the same as CTRL+click.

  • right drag/CTRL+drag rotate the camera
  • middle mouse drag pan the camera
  • mouse wheel zoom in and out

Small Box

  1. Open Google chrome, a webGL enabled browser.
  2. Navigate to Tinkercad.com.
  3. Sign in using username:larum@saintannsny.org and password:5aintann5 or sign up
  4. Click on the Create a New Thing button.
  5. The first part to design is the cap. Make a cylinder 30 x 30 x 20.

    There are 2 ways to do this:

    Option 1

    1. Drag a cylinder from the left on to the workplane:
    2. Drag the node out to adjust the x and y dimensions:

    Option 2

    1. Drag the ruler on to the workplane and adjust the x value first. Press tab to make the next adjustment _02a_alternatively_drag_out_ruler.png
    2. Press tab to make the next adjustment:
    3. Press tab to make the next adjustment:
  6. Drag another cylinder on to the work plane. This will become the hole:
  7. You want a wall thickness of 1.5mm. Set the x to 27:
  8. Set the y to 27:
  9. Leave the z at 20:
  10. Click and drag the black cone so that the cylinder raises 2mm off the workplane:
  11. Click on hole icon to turn the cylinder into a hole:
  12. Select both cylinders:
  13. Click on Adjust and select Align:
  14. Click on the center nodes to align the objects:
  15. Make sure both cylinders are selected:
  16. Click on group to actually make the hole:
  17. Drag another cylinder on to the workplane:
  18. Set the x to 30
  19. Set the y to 30:
  20. Set the z to 2:
  21. Drag another cylinder and set the x to 26:
  22. Set the y to 26:
  23. Set the z to 16:
  24. Drag another cylinder on to the workplane. This will become a hole. Set the x to 23:
  25. Set the y to 23:
  26. Set the z to 18:
  27. You need to create a rim for friction. Drag another cylinder out and set the x to 27:
  28. Set the y to 27:
  29. Set the z to 2:
  30. Click on the black cone and drag up until this disc is 14mm off the workplane:
  31. Select the last three cylinders by Shift left clicking each of them:
  32. Align them:
  33. Drag a cube on to the workplane and set the x to 28:
  34. Set the y to 2:
  35. Set the z to 14:
  36. Make a duplicate of the cube by pressing Command+D
  37. Rotate the duplicate 90 degrees (hold the SHIFT key while you rotate)
  38. Turn the two cubes into a hole and raise them both 2mm up:
  39. Align:
  40. Group to make holes:

  41. Raise the grouped cylinders up 2mm and align with the cap:

  42. Select Design>Properties:
  43. Rename the model:
  44. Select Design>Download for 3D Printing
  45. Select STL
  46. Print!