Over the years, Tinkercad has blossomed from a singular program for creating 3D designs, to an entire suite of tools for exploring design, electronics, and code. Whether you’ve been away from Tinkercad for a few years or just a summer, there’s plenty to catch up on. In this post we’ll do our best to bring you up to speed on what’s new and notable.
As the number of educators using Tinkercad in their classroom has skyrocketed, so too has our focus on ensuring teachers and students have a smooth and positive experience using our software.
Tinkercad Classrooms: The most recent new feature we’ve provided for teachers is Tinkercad Classrooms. It’s the simplest method yet for getting a classroom of students up and running in Tinkercad, all managed under your control. You can learn more about Tinkercad Classrooms in our full blog post.
Google Classroom Share: Public Tinkercad designs can now be shared or assigned as homework using the popular Google Classroom platform. We received a lot of enthusiastic feedback on this integration and we’re excited to see how teachers put it to use.
Touchscreen: We also heard from many teachers that the computers available for their students were often a mix of tablets and laptops. By adding support for touchscreen devices earlier this year, our hope is to make it easier for students to engage with Tinkercad using whatever device they have access to.
Import via URL: Addressing a similar problem, we reintroduced the ability to direct import design files into Tinkercad using a URL. In many situations, students are unable to download files (either due to hardware or administrative limitations), which has limited their ability to upload and tinker with designs they may find online. With URL import, students can simply copy and paste the location of the online file (OBJ, STL, or SVG) and Tinkercad will import it directly into their design.
Safe Mode: The need for a Safe Mode was another request we heard from the educator community. Implemented in January of this year, teachers have the ability to enable a Safe Mode for any of their moderated students. This mode prevents students from viewing or creating comments on Tinkercad designs, and limits their gallery view to a curated list of designs approved by our team.
Announced in June of last year, our Codeblocks editor gives you the power to create 3D objects based on a set of instructions you define. We think it’s a great blend of code and design, and the ideal tool for students to visually grasp the power of computational thinking and automation.
Since its introduction we’ve enhanced the editor with a number of improvements, including a Quick Start guide that can be accessed directly from the editor, SVG export, and the ability to publicly share your Codeblocks designs for others to copy and tinker with.
If you’ve been shy about giving Codeblocks a whirl, the additional resources now available (including this Hour of Code inspired snowflake project) make it a great time to start.
Whether you’re a tinkerer looking to better understand electronics, or an educator who needs a free and easy way to teach Arduino to a classroom, the Circuits editor in Tinkercad is a great resource that keeps getting better.
Just like our classic 3D editor, Circuits includes built-in interactive lessons, skill-builders, and projects to keep you engaged and learning.
Send to Fusion 360
Finally, one of the most talked-about announcements over the past year is Tinkercad’s new ability to send designs directly to Autodesk’s full-fledged 3D design software, Fusion 360. This capability provides a pathway for Tinkercad users and students to seamlessly ease into the suite of tools and options offered by professional design software.
For users who love how quickly they can design in Tinkercad but feel limited in how far they can take their design, sending designs directly to Fusion 360 opens a world of new possibilities. Designs can be rendered with realistic materials, chamfered with rounded edges, reinforced with fillets, hollowed out, and taken as far as your imagination can go.
We encourage everyone to give it a try. For educational and non-commercial users, Fusion 360 is free to use.
Show us how you Tinkercad
We love sharing new ideas and designs with our awesome Tinkercad community every day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We hope you’ll follow us on whatever platform you prefer, but even more — we hope you’ll share your Tinkercad triumphs (and frustrations) with us so that we can continue to inspire and improve.