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3D Design Basics: Basics

3D Design Basics

Tinkercad

The most popular software used by those starting out is Tinkercad
tinker_cad_logo
 
This software is produced by Autodesk which also makes professional software such as AutoCad, Fusion 360 and many others. Unlike those, Tinkercad is totally browser based and most importantly, FREE.  
 
However, Tinkercad is a great place to learn the basics of how to navigate a 3D design system and how to create simple designs that you can print. The foundations learned here will help you as you begin learning more advanced software titles like Blender and/or Fusion 360. 
 
The creators of the software have free lessons to get you through the basics: 
https://www.tinkercad.com/3d-design
 
Go through them, take your time, and remember that you have to spend time with the software to really learn it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and you can't learn 3D design in a short afternoon. 
 

 

Learning Tinkercad

One of the primary places to look for help is the main Tinkercad website.

tinkercad_design

Don't be fooled by Tinkercad's simplistic look. You can actually create some sophisticated shapes. The most important thing to remember is that all of 3D design is based on these fundamentals. These are the add and subtracting of basic shapes. You then bend, stretch and manipulate these shapes in hundreds of ways. 


Another good tutorial is from All3Dp.com

all3dp

When to use Tinkercad

Tinkercad is a great tool for generating designs from basic shapes. It is not as advanced as other 3D design software, but you can really push it's boundaries with your imagination. The best aspect of Tinkercad is that it is totally browser based. You do not need a high end computer to run this software. 

It is hard to create designs with accurate measurements with Tinkercad, but it is excellent for exploring the design process, and creating artistic projects.