T1W8: TinkerCAD Keyfob

Now Meeting in the Innovation Studio - Primary School Building Room 120!

We have finished the name plates but are still laser cutting night lights. The next project with be 3D printing key chains designed using TinkerCAD. The 8th graders are familiar with TinkerCAD from previous years but the 6th graders probably aren't, so they will need to follow the Starting Lessons tutorials to get familiar with it.

The 3D printers in the Innovation Lab are not working yet, and if I can't get them going in time I will do the printing at home and bring in the projects next term. If I do the printing at home I can use cool filament like glow-in-the-dark or rainbow silk! I could also change the filament color in the middle of the print to make the text stand out from the base.

I will give a full introduction to 3D printing next week, but we can start on our designs in TinkerCAD today without knowing how 3D printing works.

TinkerCAD Keychains

TinkerCAD works in Metric units to start with, each small square on the grid is 1mm. A good key chain size is 50-80mm wide by 20-30mm high. It can be 3-5mm thick and there should be a hole in the end for the key ring of 4mm in diameter. Don't put the hole too close to the edge

Start by putting down a shape that will be the base of the keychain. You can make it rectangular, oval, or heart or star shaped if you want. Also look at the "Shape Generator" menu on the right side, I used the "SoftBox" to make a rounded rectangle.

Use the cylinder shape with the "hole" option to make a hole in one side of the base shape. When you select the base shape and the hole and click "Group" it will unify them into a single shape with a hole in it.

Then select text, enter the message of your choice, size it to fit on your base, and place it on top of the base shape.

We will export the .STL file that the 3D printing software uses next time. Here is my example keyring:

I make it a little fancier by adding a bezel around the outsize of the shape. The "SoftBox" object makes this easy, but you can do it by shinking your base shape a little and using it as a hole at the top of your base.