Keyboard Shortcuts for the 3D Editor

Use these handy shortcuts below to speed up your Tinkercad 3D workflow.

You can also print out a .pdf version, and use it as a reference sheet for yourself or to share with students.



    • How do you move the axis of rotation from the center of a rectangle, (say I want to move the axis to be near the end of a rectangular box (as a line for the box).

      • Objects always rotate around their centers. To shift the center (temporarily for rotation) you need to create another object and rotate the two of them together. Then you can delete the “dummy” object.

    • I have a question, is it possible to/ or is it in the pipe the possibility to convert tinkercad drawings into G-code or some other similar programs, to use it with mill, lathe or another 3 axis CNC machinery..

    • Help!!! I made a new design I cant see the grid and whatever I place i can barely see! Is there something to press to see this?

    • What are the keyboard/mouse shortcuts for Mac? In particular, I am having trouble creating a hole since I don’t have a left and right mouse menu. (I’m also somewhat new to Macs.)

    • It would be great if Tinkercad had a Properties section for each object so you could check it’s current location (XYZ), dimensions, rotation etc. This is a common feature in other design software and when trying to get functional models accurately aligned, it can be difficult, even at maximum zoom. Hopefully this is a feature soon to be added?

  1. I was unable to find a way to proportionally scale in 2d. I currently have to note the current height, scale proportionally in 3d, then grab the top-face-resize-point and then resize back to the original height (optionally using the ruler). Is there an easier way to do this?

  2. I would really like to have a keyboard shortcut to switch between Midpoint and Corner modes, its something I do very, very frequently.

  3. Ok, is there a way to keyboard enter dimensions when sizing a part? I am trying to get .001″ resolution and using a mouse just doesn’t get it.

      • On your new beta, the “snap to” on the bottom right is now worthless and set permanently at 1.0mm. If you click the down arrow all you get is a scroll bar and the options are off the screen. Tried laptop, desktop, changed screen resolution, changed zoom. Nothing works. need to move it a little to the left further into the page. Otherwise I’m left only designing things that are in 1mm steps. Like the replacement lamp shade I’m trying to make. On part needs to be 53.18mm. Right now I’ve got the choice of 53 or 54.

  4. Drag a/the ruler from the palette onto the workplane. Now any selected object or group of objects will have all its dimensions shown: X, Y, Z sizes, and X, Y, Z coordinates. The coordinates can be selected to be relative to the objects’ “corners” (bottom and left) or from the objects’ mid-points. Both are useful in different situations; switch between corner and midpoint mode by clicking on the little triangles on the workplane.

    Hovering the mouse pointer over any numeric dimension causes that dimension and its corresponding dimension line to highlight in red. It’s a good idea to look closely to make sure that it’s indeed the dimension you want to change, because the numbers can get close together depending on the view. Also, make sure you don’t accidentally click on the “Dismiss ruler” X-mark on the workplane, but if you do, it can be undone. Once you’re sure it’s the dimension you want, click on the number and it will expand into a highlighted text entry box where you can directly enter the desired dimension or coordinate from your keyboard.

    See, Tinkercad, it _is_ possible to write actual informative documentation for people who can (or prefer to) read, as opposed to childish videos with annoying goofy music.

    • Drag a shape you want to use for a chamfer (a square, if you want, say, a 45-degree bevel) onto the workplane. Select “hole” for its color. Rotate it 45 degrees (for example), move it into position onto the edge you want to chamfer and resize as necessary. The intersection of the “hole” and the shape you’re chamfering will darken, making it easy to see what’s going on (the people who wrote Tinkercad were/are brilliant). Select the two shapes, click on “Group” or press cmd-G, and voila.

      If you’d rather have rounded, radius-ed edges than a beveled chamfer, there are one or two “rounded cube” shape generators in the “Community” section of Shape Generators. Use the sliders in the inspector to change the dimensions and radius of these shapes – if you resize on the workplane, the radius won’t be correct anymore.

  5. Can I move the entire view screen around? Sometimes when I zoom in, the part of my design that I want to focus on is off the screen or in a corner?

    • Hi Lili,

      You can pan the camera using CTRL+Shift+Click & Drag (Mac) or the middle mouse button/scroll wheel.
      Also, try using the F key to “Fill” or “Focus” on the part you want to see.

  6. It would be nice to have a group/ungroup option to split an object up in to parts ( or say you get a plate and just want a single part but don’t have the originals )

    In my case I’m trying to take an existing design and shrink just one section without altering the rest of the geometry

  7. I’ve just started using the program on a Surface pro 3, and the experience is pretty great, however I’d love to ditch the keyboard and just use the pen/mouse. We can dream, can’t we?

  8. Hello,

    I have a question about exporting files. When I export an .OBJ from Tinkercad and then import this file into a rendering program like KeyShot, the file imports as one object. None of the parts can be selected separately in KeyShot. I even have selected “Keep Individual Parts” setting in KeyShot with no changes.

    Is is possible to export from Tinkercad and import the file into another application and maintain the separate parts?

    I look forward to your feedback. Thank you!


    • Hi Neil,

      Yes and No – Exporting an STL from Tinkercad ‘solidifies’ objects so that it is a single unit. That’s pretty standard for STL files, you may be after an “assembly”.
      The workaround is simple enough, though. Just export the individual pieces as independent STLs and re-import them to keep them separate. I just select and delete pieces, export as STL, then hit CMD+Z (Undo) and repeat.
      Make sense?

      • Hi Andrew,

        Yes, I agree with your suggestion/workaround. It would be nice if the exported file’s parts were individual. Perhaps nice version?

        BTW, how do you click on an object while it’s within another object? For example: lets say you drag a sphere onto the workspace. Then you drag another sphere and place it, smaller, exactly within the other. Now how does one click the sphere that’s inside?

        My solution was to move the outer sphere to one side, giving me access to the inner one. But, there has to be a better solution than that, right?


      • I like using Select All (CMD+A), and deselecting things by Shift+clicking. For example, select all, then shift+click the outer sphere, the inner sphere will still be selected.
        Make sense?

  9. Hi Andrew,

    Your suggestion to “Select All” then “Shift+Clicking” to access objects within other objects works. Great! Would love to see the ability to hide objects.

    BTW, I have discovered that the object “Hi-Res Paraboloid” allows you to increase/decrease the “Resolution” while many other shapes, like the cylinder, do not.

    Question: How does one increase the resolution of a shape, specifically the shapes that don’t offer the resolution option, to prevent facets from appearing?


      • Is it possible to rotate with steps less than one single-degree?
        Well, I was able to do it in 0.5 degree step by putting it to 22.5 degree and from there step it with single-degrees but I would like to do it in 0.1 degree steps. Is it possible?

    • Manina –
      You can scale to below 1mm, if that’s what you mean..?
      At the lower right side of the editor, click Edit Grid and switch to metric. Then change your Snap Grid settings to whatever increment you want (as small as .1 mmm).

  10. awesome program! used it for a few 3d printed parts so far and really diggin it over sketchup, one thing i keep running into though is the align tool, i want it to align other objects in the work space with the object im working on.
    maybe im doing it wrong but it just seems to check alignment on the single part im working on.

  11. I usually align objects with each other by manually entering the coordinate(s) using the keyboard, because that way you always know which objects are going to move, i.e. only the one(s) selected. Of course, you must have a ruler on the workspace in order to do this, and you can select “corner” or “center” measurement mode depending on what’s appropriate at the moment.

    The alignment tool is sometimes handy if you don’t care if all the objects move to align to each other, or if you lock the ones you don’t want to move prior to aligning.

  12. Is there any tool or shortcut that would align two adjacent cylinders (of differing diameters) onto the same center axis?

    • Hi John,
      You can use the Align tool – in the editor, click Adjust > Align and click the center handle on whatever axis you want to align them to.

    • If you have a ruler on the workplane (if you don’t, drag one on!) and then click the little arrow on the workplane to change from “use corner” mode to “use midpoint” mode, you can then make any number of objects’ centers line up by manually entering the same value in their respective X or Y coordinates.

  13. Is there a way to proportionally scale an object by entering one dimension using the ruler tool? I’m doing the old fashioned way (math), but, for as often as it comes up, I’d like to know a shortcut.

    • Hi Neil,
      Not yet. 🙂
      For now, you can proportionately scale by holding Shift while moving the white scale handles. For more precise dimensioning, you can change the snap increments (lower right corner, near Edit Grid).

  14. Can you rotate a workplane to another workplane, so that the face of a certain object rotates onto original workplane?

    • There is only ever one workplane at a time. You can move it to any face of any object at any time by dragging a new workplane from the Helpers panel onto the face that you want the workplane to be parallel to. To go back to the original workplane, drag another one from the Helper panel onto the blue outline of the “master” workplane, which never goes away. The big downside of moving the workplane for me is that the original ruler location is lost. I’ve gotten into the habit of putting a “pin” (a narrow cylinder) at my main ruler position so that when I return to the main workplane I can put a new ruler in the same spot and my objects will be at their original coordinates.

      • Great Idea! My want list would include a way to save ruler positions and a way to position one exactly were I want it! Changing to a new workplane and adding a ruler can be hit or miss when trying to align it with something on that plane I want to use as a reference.

    • At the bottom left of the Workspace is a button labeled “Edit Grid.” Click it, and you can adjust the width and length (or choose a size based on the 3D printer you want to use, so you know if your model can be printed by that printer). You can also change whether you are using Millimeters or Inches for your plane. (Millimeters is what Tinkercad uses automatically.) Hope this helps!

  15. So, you must use a mouse for this, eh? I haven’t used a mouse in 4 years since I switched to a MacBook Pro…trackpad all the way, baby! Mac gestures (mouse-button-equivalent and rotate, eg) don’t seem to translate in Tinkercad. Or am I just not getting it?

  16. No, I use a MBP with trackpad for Tink sometimes, although I prefer a large screen and 3-button mouse. With the trackpad, you hold down Control while click-dragging to orbit, or Shift while click-dragging to pan. All operations are possible with the MBP trackpad and keyboard, no mouse required.

  17. There’s one subtlety with the Align tool that I find frustrating: As best I can tell, there’s no rhyme or reason as to which object it uses for the alignment axis. If you select objects #1 and #2 (which aren’t center-aligned in X) and then click the center-align-X handle, does it move object #1 to object #2’s center-x axis, or vice versa? It seems to be either arbitrary, or based on some logic that doesn’t always hold (i.e.: use the axis of the the *biggest* object, even though that’s not always what the user wants).

    Other packages like Microsoft Visio have a specific UI standard: the object that you select either *first* or *last* is the one to which the others are aligned. It works very well and quickly becomes second-nature.

  18. I’d be interested in an improvement to the ruler function where I can essentially measure an arbitrary distance. When I have 2 objects that I’m trying to get dimensions on the existing ruler functionality won’t let me go from arbitrary point on one to arbitrary point on another. I’ve gotten pretty good with the default functionality but I’m also getting better at using my calculator than I’d like because I have to place a ruler at each of the points and get the dimensions on the one object its attached to and then put another one on the other object and add/subtract as appropriate. To give a real world example when I have a Prusa X carriage thats wider than I want I usually wind up using a hole to mask the left side and export the right side as its own stl and then vice versa. I then import both stl’s and overlap them – the amount of overlap is dictated by my wanting outer dimensions of a certain amount.
    Am I being dense and its already possible to do that? (Maybe with Grouping?)

  19. Just started tinkering, and looks like a great platform. Sorry to ask such a simple question here, but I don’t see a way to actually “star/favorite” an object.

  20. Thanks for this guide; I often refer to it. It does not have all the shortcuts, though. For example “d” drops the object to the workplane. I am looking for the shortcut that centers the object on the workplane. Any tips? Any chance to have an updated more comprehensive list of shortcuts? Thanks!

  21. I need some help. Is there any way to lock a shape’s resolution before shrinking it so that the quality doesn’t go all weird? I am specifically referring to imports. If I import a shape at about 1000% size the resolution is great, but that’s until I shrink it and it goes all polygonal. Is there any way to at least use the custom shape generator to fix this? I also tried importing the shape I am wanting to use into the shape generator to work on it in code, but it came up with “unreadable file type”. I tried using .STL, .SVG, .OBJ, and none of those worked. If anyone can help me here that would be great. Thanks!


  22. Is there any way to make the inspector panel in the new beta go away? It is in the way constantly. Maybe give it an arrow like the side panel has, to make it collapse into the menubar when I don’t need it. It is especially annoying when I’m zoomed in and trying to align parts.

  23. Probably a super basic question: can I add supports to my project for 3D printing in Tinkercad? I usually use Meshmixer for this step but our school won’t add that app to the kids’ chrome books. Or should I just recommend that they physically make “supports” that they can then cut away after printing? Thanks.

  24. I can’t seem to find how to do this: When trying to align two objects, I am unable to select which one should be fixed in place and which one should be moved. I tried locking one object to force the other to align to it but the alignment guides still keep using the wrong object as reference.

  25. In your new beta version, the “snap to” at the bottom right no longer functions. It’s set at 1.0 (mm). Click the drop down arrow to change to .75 or .5 or that, and you get a scroll bar and the options are no longer visible. Tried it on the laptop, the desk top, adjusted the zoom, adjusted screen resolution. Nothing brings the options into view to check on.

    So the lampshade I’m designing that needs to be 53.18 mm I’ve only the option of making it 53.0 or 54.0


  26. An orient to workplane function would be great. For clarity what I mean is that it would rotate the object so that the back (or closest object plane to the workplane) is in perfect alignment with the workplane. This would allow someone to set the workplane as the face of one object then snap the orientation of another object to it.

  27. You can move the workplane to any face of any object by dragging a workplane icon onto it – is that what you’re looking for? The only downside is that you lose ruler location when you do this.

    • Julia, I don’t think that’s what Kevin was asking for. I have the same problem as him… I don’t want to move the workplane to an object per se… I want to align the flat face of any object I pick to any plane I pick. Is that possible ? Here’s a simple example: I have a extruded rectangle that’s been accidentally rotated off the plane by some amount (I don’t know exactly how much). I want to get that object so that it “lays flat” again on a workplane of my choosing (either the default or one I select). To do this , I would imagine you would want to align an object to a plane by selecting both, but this doesn’t seem to work. Is there another way to do that ?

      • Ah, I see now. Yes, straightening something out that’s been rotated by an unknown angle is quite difficult and tedious. I’ve long wished for a “Reset Orientation” function, but I guess Tink doesn’t maintain the values of rotations from “zero” for objects. Your idea of “align facet to workplane” could work I guess, but might actually be more difficult to implement.

  28. I have a problem. I am confused on how to get one design into another design. I made a really cool fidget spinner but then in another design i made a really cool object which iw ant to add to it but i can’t.

    • If they’re both in the same version of the editor (T1 or T2 Beta) you can copy and paste between them. Unfortunately you can’t copy and paste between the versions, so if one is T1 you have to first copy that whole design to the Beta (“copy to beta” in the directory window) then you can paste beta-beta.

  29. I need to make an item which has a width of 74.93 mm, and I can’t seem to be able to do that. I can only get 74 or 75 mm size. Help!

    • Strictly speaking, no – but there are some shapes that have variable edge controls. The Box, for example has the ability to round corners. Beyond that, we use Fusion 360 for manipulating edges as a final step.

  30. I’m very new to tinkercad but is there a way to dimension holes relative to the object I’m drilling them in? For example, I’d like to have a hole that is centered on a rectangle and 2 inches from the end but im not sure what to do, thank you to much for your help!

  31. How do I dimension holes relative to objects? I want to have a hole that is centered on a rectangle and 2 inches from the bottom, how would I do that? Thank you in advance for your help!

    • The ruler has two modes, “midpoint”, and “edge”. You can toggle between them by pressing shift-R or clicking the small triangle on the workplane. Use edge mode to find the coordinate of your rectangle bottom, then change to midpoint mode and put the center of the hole at the desired distance (click on the dimension to make it editable and type in the desired position).

  32. Great tool for creating 3d print objects … And light game modelling … Thanks.

    Can you add a SHIFT and CTL buttons on the UI please … maybe as toggles … So tablet and phone users without a keyboard can multi select etc.

  33. Any advice for when a document looses it perspective and zoom abilities? ie. Its stuck in ortho mode, and cannot be zoomed or panned easily … Like its lost its focal point. Tried copying to a new design. Will try export and import next.

      • Try selecting an object and then pressing the F key, to “focus” the orbit point on the selection. I’ve never used it on a tablet, but sometimes if I’m working far from the origin I need to focus in order to get useable pan and orbit action.

  34. What a great tool Tink is!

    But I have one gripe…

    I use rotation to model the movement of hinged components. I currently have to create a carefully positioned dummy mirror image object to objects to rotation on a ‘hinge’ line, or somewhere other than the object’s ‘centre’. For me, this is Tink’s only major weakness. It seems so obvious that when rotation is used as part of the functionality of the design, i.e. other than to orient static objects, the selection of a rotation axis is a fundemental requirement. I’m sure others would share this view.

    About three years ago there was talk of a rotation axis selection capability. Any progress on that?

    • Agreed, a rotation axis feature would be great. I also do the “counterweight” workaround frequently when creating radially-symmetric structures. Sometimes if I just want to check the action of a moving part I simply leave the object where it is and make a disposable duplicate that I can then rotate and reposition as necessary.

  35. I have the same problem as Michael Snow, from February 8, 2017 at 3:18 PM. In Internet Explorer the SNAP grid displays nothing but a scroll bar. Thus no other values can be selected. If I use Firefox instead, I can get the SNAP grid dialog box.
    When I use Firefox and try to shift-right click to move the camera around, I get a FireFox menu popup that I have to ESC from before I can continue to edit.

    So my choices are Firefox, with annoying menu popup. or IE with no ability to change scale. This is VERY frustrating, and I’d love to hear some SOLUTIONS (Which were not present for these problems in this thread).

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