The Rocket’s Main Body
Don’t worry, you’re not going to be re-creating the Space Shuttle in Tinkercad...although that would make a great advanced project for you to consider. Instead, you’re going to create the pieces for a small and simple rocket that will consist of the main body, the engine, and three fins.
When the scaffolding is assembled, the height of the assembly will be 47mm. The rocket will have a height of 45mm. Keep this in mind as you create the main body, engine, and fins.
It can often be useful to have a hand sketch of your model (or a photo of a real-life object), and Figure 4.13 gives you the basic idea of the rocket you’ll work on creating. Your version doesn’t have to look exactly like mine, but do try and follow along with the hands-on steps so you get some practice with the Tinkercad tools and features used here.
FIGURE 4.13 A sketch of the rocket 3D model to be designed.
As you can see, the largest part of the rocket will be the main body, and I’m going to start with that shape. The easiest way to obtain this shape is to drag and drop a Sphere object on the workspace and use the white dot controls to modify the shape. Figure 4.14 shows that I’ve dropped a sphere object onto the workspace.
FIGURE 4.14 A sphere object, ready to be modified.
Like a box, a sphere also has the white dot controls appear when you select it. Unlike a box object, however, a sphere’s measurements are related to its diameter (when it’s a perfect sphere). You can click and hold on any white dot and manipulate the shape of the sphere as desired. After some playing around, I managed to end up with an elongated cigar-shaped object, as shown in Figure 4.15, with length and width of 14mm and height of 30mm.
FIGURE 4.15 The rocket’s main body is cigar shaped.
Now let’s move on to the engine. Creating this part involves simply sizing a small ring that will be placed on the bottom of the main body. You’ll learn in Chapter 5 how to properly line it up and center it on the main body. For now just drag and drop a tube object (which you find at the bottom of the Geometric section) onto the workspace and give it a diameter of 8mm and a height of 2mm.
Because you want to keep the diameter of the ring constant, the length and width must be the same value. If you hold the Shift key down on your keyboard as you drag one of the white dots inward, the length and width are locked together and shrink at the same rate. Figure 4.16 shows the completed ring.
FIGURE 4.16 The engine ring, resting on the workspace.