Jen Schachter is a maker, a frequent contributor on Tested, and the Director of Special Projects at Adam Savage's legendary "Cave" workshop. We asked her to share one of her earliest designs and catch us up on what she's up to now.
How It Started
Early in my maker initiation, I learned Tinkercad while working at Digital Harbor Foundation - a youth makerspace in Baltimore.
One of the first projects we gave the kids was an exercise in design and prototyping: create a table clip that can hold a tool or accessory at your desk.
This design was my demo project - a phone holder with an amplifier cone on it. It was printed in 3 parts with dowels for attaching them together.
How It’s Going
A few years later I was connected with a group called We the Builders that makes 3D printed sculptures out of parts crowd-sourced from hundreds of contributors!
This Edgar Allan Poe bust was 3D modeled by Ryan Kittelson for one of our sculptures. We typically use a combination of Netfabb and Meshmixer to slice the models into parts for printing, but that level of CAD is still a bit out of my comfort zone.
I wanted to make a mini model of Poe to demo the sculpture assembly process for our booth at Maker Faire, so I brute-forced slicing this model in Tinkercad using a grid of rectangular holes.
I also countersunk recesses to embed some small earth magnets on the face of each "brick" so the sculpture could be pulled apart and reassembled like a puzzle.
Why do you think Tinkercad is still going strong after 10 years?
It's so intuitive! The design approach of building with primitives and holes translates seamlessly to the way I think most people conceive of a design. I've been blundering my way through higher level CAD, but Tinkercad is still the fastest way to "jot down" an idea from my head into the modeling space.