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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three Tools Students Can Use to Create 3D Models Online

Your school might not have a 3D printer yet, but your students can still create 3D models online with these free online tools.

123D Design from Autodesk allows you to create models by dragging pieces together online then sending them to 123D Make where your models can be printed. From those print-outs your students can construct their models. Both 123D Design and 123D Make can be used online, on iPads, and on Mac and Windows desktops.


3DTin is a free web-based program for creating three dimensional models. 3DTin provides templates that you can use to develop models or you can build a model completely from scratch. The service is completely free to use as long as you allow your models to be labeled with a Creative Commons license and put in the 3DTin gallery. The gallery is a great place is to find examples of what can be created in 3DTin. Models that you create can be exported for use in other modeling software. Before you rush to try 3DTin you should know that you do have to be using a modern web browser that supports WebGL. For example, 3DTin will work with the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox but will not work with older versions of Firefox or Internet Explorer. 3DTin can be used as a Chrome Web App too.


Like 3D Tin, Tinkercad allows you to build 3D models within your web browser. Tinkercad provides pre-made pieces that you can assemble to build a model. You can also select a model from the public gallery and edit it in your Tinkercad account. If you create a free Tinkercad account you can save your work online. The video below provides a great introduction to Tinkercad.

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