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Why Tinkercad is the best option for CAD and 3D Printing beginners…

If you’re new to CAD design for 3D Printing, Tinkercad is definitely the program to start with. It’s a very powerful, user-friendly platform for CAD beginners and entry-level 3D Printing enthusiasts. By manipulating shapes and then adding or subtracting them from other shapes, you can create a lot of unique things or recreate existing objects in the world.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Moving Object (s):

  • ←/ ↑/ →/ ↓ = Move an object along ground plane (X/Y Plane)
  • ctrl+ ↑/ ↓ = Move an object up or down (Z plane)
  • Shift+ ←/ ↑/ →/ ↓ = Move an object 10X faster along ground plane (X/Y Plane)
  • ctrl+ Shift+ ↑/ ↓ = Move an object 10X faster up or down (Z plane)
  • Shift + drag = moves object in only one direction
  • D = Drop selected object(s) to workplane

Press and Hold the keyboard keys and then click/drag mouse for the below shortcuts…

  • Shift + Right click = Pan view
  • Alt+ left mouse button = Duplicate object(s)
  • Shift+ left mouse button = Select more than one object
  • Shift+ hold while rotating = 45 degree rotations

Helpful object action shortcuts…

  • ctrl + C = Copy an object or selected objects
  • ctrl+ V = Paste an object or objects
  • ctrl+ Z = Undo action or actions
  • ctrl + Y = Re-do an action or actions
  • ctrl + D = Duplicate object or objects in place
  • ctrl+ G = Group objects
  • ctrl+ shift+ G = Un-group grouped objects
  • Del = delete an object or objects

Object Options:
Select object(s) and then perform the following action(s)…

  • T = Transparency Toggle
  • H = Make an object or objects a hole
  • S = Make an object or objects a solid
  • ctrl + L = Lock or unlock selected objects
  • ctrl + H = Make an object hidden
  • ctrl + shift + H = Make all hidden objects visible again

Change the size of an object:

  • Alt + click and drag side handle = Scale in one direction
  • Alt + click and drag corner handle = Scale in two directions
  • Shift + click and hold corner handle = Uniform Scale
  • Alt + Shift + click and hold corner handle = Uniform scale from center

Tools and Views

  • W = Create new workplane
  • L = Align tool
  • R = Ruler tool
  • M = Flip tool
  • F = A better view of selected objects
  • Ctrl + A = select all visible shapes

I’ve been a 3D Printing enthusiast and an entrepreneur for many years now and it all started with Tinkercad for me. By learning the ins and outs of Tinkercad, you will not only be skilled in this particular program, but you will also have the foundational knowledge to progress and be successful at other 3D Printing programs. I currently work with Fusion 360 which is an advanced 3D Printing computer-aided design program. It also happens to be developed by Autodesk (the same company that bought Tinkercad in 2013) which is awesome because the progression from Tinkercad to Fusion 360 is a relatively smooth one.

A comprehensive discussion about the Tinkercad interface and shape movement

Diving deep into shape manipulation and scaling of objects in the design environment

A discussion of the hole, group/ungroup feature, the align tool, and the flip tool

A discussion of the workplane and ruler tools as well the brick and block environment

An instructional video on circular patterns, linear patterns, and slicing of objects.

Everything you need to know about importing, exporting, sharing, and downloading files

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