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    Annotate Tinkercad Designs with 3D Notes

    Donald Bell
    Published on - December 16, 2020 by Donald Bell

    Features

    closepenguin21 at 4.19.45 PM

    A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but sometimes words are exactly what’s needed to provide a design with context, explain how something is assembled, or provide feedback on student work. All of this is now possible with Tinkercad's 3D Notes tool.

    You can find this new addition above the Shapes menu, next to the Ruler and Workplane tools. As a shortcut, you can also use the letter N on your keyboard to place a note.

    Usage and Limitations

    There are a few helpful things to understand about how the notes tool works in Tinkercad's 3D editor. 

    Placing a two-dimensional note on a 3D object may sound strange, but hopefully we’ve made it as intuitive as possible. Note placement behaves in a similar way to placing a new Workplane. You'll find that notes can be placed on, around, or even inside an object. 

    Once placed, you’ll be provided with a text bubble that you can fill in with words, numbers, special characters, or even emojis. You’re limited to 140 characters (a sentence or two) or 5 lines, whichever comes first. Website URLs can be pasted into notes, however they will not act as hyperlinks.

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    With your note completed, clicking away from it and leave it open. Alternatively, you can click the "-" below the note to collapse it.

    When a note is collapsed, it shrinks down to a little text icon. In this collapsed view you can still move your note around by dragging the dot beneath the note. To reveal the full content of the note again, simply click on it again. In the 3D editor, only one note can be open at a time.

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    To make changes to a note, open it up and click inside the text bubble to place your cursor. While editing, you’ll also notice that a trash can icon appears in the top right corner of your note. Clicking this trash can will delete your note. 

    Be aware that notes don't actually attach themselves to your designs. If you move your design after a note is placed on it, the note will not move with your object. 

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    Notes in the Circuits Editor

    Annotations have been a part of Tinkercad’s Circuits editor since 2018. The moment we added this capability, we knew we wanted to have something similar for our 3D editor too. 

    Though the notes tool in the Circuits editor and 3D editor are closely related, they have their differences. 

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    In the Circuits editor, you’ll find the notes tool in the toolbar across the top. The notes you create can be collapsed or revealed individually, similar to 3D notes, as well as edited, and repositioned. 

    For the Circuits editor we also provide a button for hiding or revealing all your notes at once. You’ll find this hide/reveal button in the toolbar to the right of the notes button. 

    How will you use 3D Notes?

    We’re excited to see how you’ll put the 3D Notes tool to use. We believe that students and educators will find it particularly useful for explaining and critiquing designs. 

    If you have a clever example of how notes have been beneficial for you, be sure to share it with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

    Tags: Features