TinkerCAD Learning Center

TinkerCAD is a web-based 3D modeling program that is intuitive enough for elementary school students and advanced enough for college students. TinkerCAD can be used to create 3D models to send to 3D printers or to showcase in a virtual gallery.  In addition to their free 3D modeling tool, TinkerCAD offers a learning center that caters to a variety of learning strategies.

Screenshot of Tinkercad learning center page

Tool Snapshot

Price Free
Learning Cognitivism & Constructionism
Ease of Use ★★★★✩
Privacy ★★★✩✩
Accessibility ★★★★✩
Class Size Unlimited
ISTE*S Innovative Designer & Creative Communicator
COPPA/
FERPA
See Terms of Service

TinkerCad Overview

TinkerCAD was founded by Kai Backman and Mikko Mononen in 2011 and was purchased by Autodesk, Inc. in 2013. Since its creation, users have generated over 400 million models ranging from toys, prototypes, home decor, Minecraft models and more (Tinkercad.com, 2022, para. 6).

TinkerCAD’s easy-to-use Learning Center focuses on instruction through basic skill walkthroughs, step-by-step project-based lessons, and video tutorials for specific instruction and tips.

Privacy

In regards to privacy, TinkerCAD is in compliance with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, only sharing student information if required by law enforcement or for technical support.

Differentiated Learning

TinkerCAD Overview Video

Watch on YouTube

TinkerCAD Learning Center & the SAMR Model

Here is an example of how the TinkerCad Learning Center might fit within the SAMR model:

Learning Activities

Math

Students can create a range of numbers for tactile learning. Students can also examine the math within the 3D design program (e.g., shapes, sizes, proportions). 

Science

Students can create models of vascular systems and cellular processes. 

History

Students can take existing data of collapsing ancient structures and rebuild them to what they would have looked like centuries ago.

English

Students can create models of various characters in their favorite books, using descriptions from the novels.

Resources

Research

Maloy, R., Kommers, S., Malinowski, A., & LaRoche, I. (2017). 3D modeling and printing in history/social studies classrooms: Initial lessons and insightsContemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education17(2), 229-249.

Trust, T., & Maloy, R. W. (2017). Why 3D print? The 21st-century skills students develop while engaging in 3D printing projectsComputers in the Schools34(4), 253-266.