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3D Modeling and Printing with Tinkercad: Create and Print Your Own 3D Models

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3D Modeling and Printing with Tinkercad: Create and Print Your Own 3D Models


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  • Rich, four-color printing brings the power of 3D modeling and printing to life
  • Perfect for beginners in both 3D modeling and 3D printing: absolutely no prior experience required
  • Addresses one of today's fastest-growing markets: Makers, DIYers, and 3D printing hobbyists of all ages
  • Answers the Tinkercad questions users ask most: questions the online documentation ignores or explains in language that's far too complex


  • Copyright 2014
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-5490-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5490-5

The First Complete Guide to Tinkercad: 3D Modeling That’s Powerful, Friendly, & Free!

Want to master 3D modeling and printing? Tinkercad is the perfect software for you: It’s friendly, web-based, and free. Even better, you don’t have to rely on Tinkercad’s technical documentation to use it. This easy, full-color guide is packed with photos and projects that bring 3D modeling to life!

No 3D or CAD experience? No problem: Best-selling author James Floyd Kelly teaches you step-by-step through simple examples and hands-on activities.

You’ll learn all the concepts and techniques you need...build your skills, comfort, and confidence...and create exciting projects that show off Tinkercad’s full power. Learning 3D with your kids? You’ll even find projects you can work on together!

  • Quickly master the basic 3D concepts you need to understand
  • Navigate Tinkercad’s Dashboard and tool set
  • Create your first 3D model and control its properties
  • Save time by incorporating publicly available elements
  • Import hand sketches or SVG graphics into your models
  • Use the Shape Generator to create custom shapes
  • Add raised text and other embellishments
  • Assemble multiple pieces into a more sophisticated model
  • Make realistic prototypes
  • Output molds for creating items from soft materials
  • Transform models into STL files for printing
  • Get great results from an online 3D printing service
  • Move your 3D objects into the Minecraft virtual world
  • Find answers to your most important Tinkercad questions
  • Discover tools for tasks Tinkercad can’t handle
  • Learn from others! Explore projects at Thingiverse and the Gallery

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Learn 3D Modeling Basics with Tinkercad

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 4 and Index)

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
Chapter 1: 3D Modeling Is Cool!     5

What Is 3D Modeling?     5
Where Have You Seen 3D Modeling?     11
Why Is 3D Modeling Useful?     13
What Can You Do with 3D Modeling?     14
Chapter 2: 3D Modeling Basics     17
What Are Axes?     17
What Is a Plane?     22
Understanding Rotation     25
Chapter 3: Say Hello to Tinkercad     29
Finding and Opening Tinkercad     30
Navigating Tinkercad     35
Changing a 3D Model’s Properties     40
Looking at Lessons     43
Chapter 4: Learn Some Modeling Basics     45
The Launchpad     45
The Rocket’s Main Body     53
The Rocket’s Fins     57
Chapter 5: Putting Together a Model     69
Assembling the Launchpad     70
Assembling the Rocket     86
Chapter 6: A Tinkercad Special Project     101
Brainstorming Ideas     102
Creating the Basic Tag Shape     104
Adding Embellishments     119
Adding Raised Text     122
Suggestions for Improvements     126
Chapter 7: Another Tinkercad Special Project     129
Developing an Idea     130
Creating a Mold for the Object     138
Creating the Elements for the Mold     143
Finishing Up the Mold-Making Project     147
Chapter 8: Printing Your 3D Models     155
What Is a 3D Printer?     156
Creating an STL File     161
Melting That Plastic     165
Moving the Nozzle     167
Using Software to Control a 3D Printer     171
Summary of 3D Printing     175
Chapter 9: More Useful Tricks with Tinkercad     177
Using the Mirror Feature     177
Importing Your Own Sketch     187
Experimenting with the Shape Generators Tool     194
Where to Next?     197
Chapter 10: Where Can You Find Existing Models?     199
Welcome to Thingiverse     199
Additional 3D Model Sources     209
Chapter 11: Expanding Tinkercad’s Usefulness     211
Finding a 3D Printing Service     212
Taking Your Object into Minecraft     217
Chapter 12: Special App for Turning Real-World Objects into 3D Models     225
Converting Real Objects to Digital Models     225
Improving Your 3D Modeling Skills     241
Appendix A: More Free CAD Applications to Explore     243
123D Design     243
SketchUp     244
FreeCAD     245
Appendix B: A Bonus Project     247
The Pinewood Derby     247
Creating Digital Body Shapes     250
“Carving” the Block     259
Appendix C: A Closer Look at 123D Design     267
123D Design Interface     267
The Main Toolbar     269
The Navigation Bar     276
What’s Left?     283
Index     285


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