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    1 Hour Print: 3D Word Illusion

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Published on - April 1, 2020 by Penolopy Bulnick

    Inspiration, #tinkertogether


    Tinker Together word illusion

    I saw this fun Mom Dad illusion in the Gallery the other day and it reminded me of a word illusion I wanted to try out where when you look at the 3D printed block it says one word along one side and a different word along the other side. It's really easy and I also have some advice on how to make letters stand out when they seem to blend/get smooshed together.

    This can be printed in almost any size, but support plays a big part in this. If you aren't going to use support or water soluble filament as support, you really can't print this very big. To make this a fast and easy 1 hour print, I recommend printing it small, about 1.5" by 1" but you don't need to resize your design until you are all done making it and are ready to slice and print it.

    Tinker Together illusion gif

    Here is a quick video tutorial as well:


    Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 2.49.04 PM

    To start, you need the words. We aren't going to use the TEXT function as that will put spaces between the letters, instead we will do each letter individually. Also, we need them to be uppercase so we don't need to worry about any letters that go below the writing line (I feel like there is a term for this and I just can't figure it out) like with g, p, q, j.

    I brought in the letters T I N K E R and T O G E T H E R to match the #tinkertogether from over on Tinkercad's blog.

    Once you have the letters, make sure they are all the same height. This is very important, it will mess things up later if they are different heights. To make it easy for now, make them all 11mm.

    Now move all the letters so they are touching. Once they are all touching, you can use the align tool to make sure they are all lined up.



    Lastly, let's add some extra spaces as some of the letters lose their definition when put next to each other such as I & N and N & K. This can also help with the definition on the E.


    Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 2.47.17 PM

    Now that you have the words we are going to rotate them up into they are lined up so one will be on the "front" of the block, and one will go side to side.

    Take the length of the words and use that to create the width of the other word. For example, TINKER is 49.69mm wide so that means TOGETHER will be 49.69mm long. And then vice versa, TOGETHER is 72.39mm wide, so TINKER will be 72.39mm long.


    You would think you are done now, but as you can see, if you line them up, they don't quite have the definition you want yet.

    Take each word and make it into a hole. Now line it up with it's own block of the same size. This will create a negative of each word (2 images below).




    Now that you have the negatives, put them together and create another bloc of the same size (below). Line up the block with the word negatives and group them. This will give you the word definition you want.






    Once you have the final word block, you can resize it and orient it for optimal printing.

    Here is a look at the small 1.5" by 1" one I printed that took just under an hour. I printed it upside down and you can kind of see how the E tried to cave in without any support but it was still able to print.

    Smaller Tinker Together

    Find the full tutorial with more information on printing on Instructables.

    If you decide to make your own word illusion, don't forget to share and tag your design with #tinkertogether. 

    Keep an eye on the Tinkercad blog and our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) for more step-by-step guides, design challenges and other inspiration.

    In the meantime, please see our recent posts titled Hello Tinkercad Friends! Let’s #TinkerTogether and Parents Guide to Starting Kids in Tinkercad. They provide more information on some of Tinkercad’s useful features for parents, teachers, and students.