Tinkercad announced a few days ago that they have upgraded their online browser based CAD program to version 2.
You may remember Tinkercad from this amazing interview where I discussed with the founders their work and it’s progress – they had just received $1,000,000 in seed capital so they were quite happy at the time.
I even scammed a recipe for a risotto at the end of the interview!
Anyhoo – onto my review of version 2.
Tinkercad basics – nothing to download
Tinkercad is a browser based CAD program. There are no programs to install and download. Provided you have a modern browser (Google Chrome works best) the program will allow you to design 3D Models, and then download them or send them off to a company to print.
Tinkercad is designed with a low learning curve, allowing folks to easily design something without the CAD package holding them back.
The Logo Has Changed
The logo is not a multi color block. This branding is probably in line with their target market – folks looking for an easy CAD package to design 3D object that can be printed on their printer or via Shapeways or Ponoko.
To me this logo implies the tool will be excellent for School Children, folks who want to knock out a quick design, or Blog authors sick of the complexity of modern CAD systems.
Tinkercad now has Text readily available. Download the STL for this image here: https://tinkercad.com/things/2kQOfDoITOl
The Layout has improved and Text and Numbers Added!
With version 1 of Tinkercad, there were only simple primitives to work with (cube, cone, cylinder, sphere etc). Now there is Text!
In the 3D Printing world it seems to have been quite difficult to get text onto designs. Fonts are a nightmare, there is probably copyright issues and it has all been just too tough. Of course, certain Blog Authors have developed tools like a Nameplate Generator, but if you don’t use OpenScad you can’t use the Nameplate Generator.
In the end, Tinkercad provides a nice and easy way to drop text into a design.
This immediately puts the program head an shoulder above most tools – and Tinkercad is free!
Built in Tutorial System – called ‘Quests’
The Quests system is what most enamoured me to Tinkercad. It provides a nice way of introducing folks to how to use the software.
I wish other types of CAD packages had this sort of system.
The user is presented with a number of quests that teach new skills as you progress. The learning steps are small and at the end of the quests you feel confident with the software.
What excited me – is that one of the quests is to design a Dice. At the end you get a useful thing! You can even make the Dice that always rolls a 6.
(Note for the haters – yes I know Dice is plural and Di is singular – but it didnt read right)