“3D modelling” is the process of creating a three-dimensional representation of an object using special computer software. This representation, called a 3D model, can show an object’s size, shape and texture.
Our friends at the Innovation Lab have created some videos to show you the basics of 3D modelling. You can follow along and have a go yourself by signing up for a free Tinkercad account.
Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use online app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!
3d modelling workshop part 1
3d modelling workshop part 2
3d modelling workshop part 3
You can print 3D models using a special printer. When you print a page on a normal printer, there are only two dimensions: the front of the page and the back of the page. 3D printing adds a third dimension, volume.
Objects are created by adding layers of material: A 3D printer takes material, usually plastic, wrapped on a spool, heats it to melt it and then fuses it layer by layer to build a 3D object. Because objects are created by adding layers, the computer file with details about your model must be converted into slices that the printer will then create, layer by layer.
Printing a 3D object can take hours or days to complete, depending on how complicated or big your model is.