Getting Started with 3D Printing Using Tinkercad

Contributors: Shawn Hymel, Feldi
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If you have been wanting to design your own 3D printed object, Tinkercad is a great starting point. Advanced modelers may prefer programs like Fusion 360, SolidWorks, and Blender, but these can have a steep learning curve. If you are looking to design your own 3D printed object in a modeling software, Tinkercad can get you there in no time.

This tutorial will walk you through designing a simple project box. It has been designed to hold an Arduino Pro Mini. While this may seem fairly useless, you are encouraged to change the dimensions to meet the needs of your own project.

3D printed project enclosure designed using Tinkercad

Required Materials

You will not need any components to follow along with the modeling part of this tutorial. Should you wish to print and build the box, you will need access to a 3D printer. This tutorial shows you how to use the Cura (LulzBot Edition) slicer program and print on a LulzBot.

Note: If you do not personally own a 3D printer, check your local makerspace, school, or library to see if they have one you can use. You can also upload your design file to a service like Shapeways to have it fabricated and shipped to you for a price.

TAZ 6 3D Printer

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Suggested Reading

Depending on your 3D printer, you will want to be familiar with its basic operation. This guide shows you how to operate the LulzBot TAZ 5, but many printers have a similar operation. These documents might be helpful: