Several postings in the past I discussed 3D drawing programs and focused on the ease of learning and power of these free programs. One such entry I chose to overlook was Tinkercad. My earlier experience with this program, a year ago, was that it was to basic for any real 3D printing projects. However, since that time the developers have vastly updated and increased the power of this program and have been able to maintain its simplicity. This is a win-win situation for everyone.
Also, if you are new to Tinkercad make sure to check out the tutorials. They are unique in the 3D design software category. Instead of a posting of a tutorial video, the Tinkercad tutorials are a hands on tutorial session in which you work through 3D designs right in the software. Although, there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube if you would rather watch them.
Along with updating capabilities of the design software, they have added a significant number of geometric shapes and shape generators. Today, if they don’t have that perfect shape from which to start, you can edit a shape to get the one you need. The developers have also added a text generator which makes editable text. You can change the font types and sizes. One last generator to mention is the picture generator which allows you to drag and drop a picture right into your design…how cool is that! Other features include the measuring tool which allows you to type in the exact dimensions of the shapes you are creating and access to various basic shapes created by the Tinkercad community.
The Tinkercad community is much like Thingiverse in that you can share (or not) your creations and allow others to download copies of it that they can modify. Lastly, if you have a Thingiverse account you can upload your newly created design directly into Thingiverse.