With the rise in 3-d printing and the availability of such machines as an affordable outlet for design and creation with real world application has come the need for reasonable printing design emulators. Sites like thingiverse and shapeways, hundreds of printing designs can be easily downloaded, and after running through the correct software, printed speedily and without hassle. Some of these sites are limited to browsing currently existing designs, and Tinkercad hopes to fill the void between creation and dissemination.
Tinkercad is an online 3-d model planner used to create designs compatible with Makerware and other 3-d printing software. Once the design is created it can be easily imported from tinkercad to these programs, and from there saved to an SD card or USB drive and loaded onto a printer. The “workplane” looks like this:
From here comes the option of combining shapes, letters, and numbers to make nearly anything, within the boundaries of finite detail. Some examples include:
And other useful and not-so-useful objects-
The Tinkercad software itself is quite intuitive and easy to use. With dozens of tutorials built into the creator itself, grasping the basics and more advanced techniques with the program is both simple and fun. It was straightforward and uncomplicated for me to quickly create complex objects from the limited but encompassing variety of 3d pieces provided.
After the designs are finalized, they can be easily saved and imported into Makerwrare. After some quick formatting changes, they are sually ready to be printed on either our Makerbot I or Makerbot 5th generation machines.
Since we purchased our Makerbot Replicator over the summer, we haven’t had a place for it to call home. It floated around from space to space but thanks to a little bit of furniture repurposing, it has found a place where it can stay for good. Check it out in the Media Center hallway in its new cabinet. There is plexiglass on the side so even if it isn’t in action, you can still get a peak inside. Are you interested in seeing it run or do you want to create something on it? Email email@example.com for a tour.