Sunday, June 2, 2013

3D Modeling Options for Kids

In the months we have been exploring our 3D printers, we have tried a variety of 3D modeling options for kids to create their own models, and we've come up with the following options.  They are all, of course, free!

From easiest, but least flexible to more options, but very complex:

  • 3DTin - Currently my student's favorite.  This browser-based modeling program has a very simple interface - just choose 3D shapes from a library add them to your sketch.  Free because "when you create content on, it becomes a publicly available artwork under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (3.0) (unless explicitly specified otherwise)."  All sketches can be exported in STL, OBJ, DAE file formats. [UPDATE 9.19.13 - 3DTin was acquired by Lagoa.  We'll see if / how this matters.]
  • TinkerCAD - It was suddenly gone, then just as suddenly back, thanks to Autodesk.  Exports to STL.
  • SketchUp - Exports to STL
  • Autodesk software - industry standard.  Free to educators and students.

Other (not-free) tools we know about but have not yet explored include:

  • Shape-It-Up -a program that lets the user build shapes from hand gestures using a  Kinect 3D camera.  And I missed the demo at Maker Faire?!
  • Solidworks - industry standard CAD program - with, I believe, a price to match?

Other resources (ideas?) to be added soon...


1 comment:

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    ! Thanks for this information.