10 Learning 3D Design with Tinkercad

Creating in three dimensions

If you think you’re completely new to 3D design, you probably aren’t.

Have you ever made something out of clay? What about Lego? Have you built a sandcastle before? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’re already a 3D designer! The challenge then, is to learn to create a three-dimensional design in two-dimensional space. If you look at architectural drawings, you’ll notice that they appear completely flat, but usually represent more than one view which when considered together, created a complete picture of how an object will appear in 3D space. The front and top views of NUI Galway’s Quadrangle (below) show an example of the concept. If we imagine that the top view is placed above the front view, we know exactly how large each element is.



It can be challenging to adjust your thought process to this method. However, computer-aided design (CAD) software can be extremely helpful in this respect. Rather than working in flat planes, CAD software allows us to work and build in a manner closer to what we might experience when building in the physical world. See a simplified example of the NUI Galway Quad recreated in TinkerCAD.


Working with Tinkercad

Tinkercad is a free online collection of design tools which allow users to create their own designs, save them, and export them to various formats for 3D printing or for use in virtual reality. It is designed as an early introduction to 3D design which will allow users to develop fundamentals and eventually move into learning more complex professional-level CAD programmes.

Assignment: TinkerCAD Basics

  • Log in to tinkercad.com and create a free account
  • Navigate to the learning resources page
  • Complete the Direct Starters tasks




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Designing the Digital World Copyright © 2021 by NUI Galway is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.