Tinkercad: Definition, functionality and scope

For more than ten years, Tinkercad has been used by 3D enthusiasts. The software enjoys a certain unique selling point, as it is aimed at both experienced users and novices, and even children. We have looked into the exact functionality and scope of Tinkercad with 3D printing in mind. Below you will learn everything you need to know about the program.

The most important facts in brief:

  • Tinkercad is one of the most popular software for creating 3D models.
  • The tool is offered free of charge by Autodesk and used by more than 50 million people
  • The software is well suited for beginners in the field of 3D printing and is also aimed at children
  • The software can be used to implement 3D designs as well as circuits or to write your own code blocks.
  • With features like 3D models for Minecraft or Lego structures, individual constructions can be created
In former times still very “childish” and today in professional appearance: The website of Tinkercad (source screenshot: Autodesk Tinkercad website)

Tinkercad: Definition, functionality and scope

Tinkercad was developed in 2011 and is now part of Autodesk's large portfolio. The software is offered as a free, browser-based web app and is used to create 3D designs as well as electronic circuits and custom program blocks.

Already more than 50 million people worldwide use the tool, providing a wide range of designs. Users can draw on the existing designs and models, but also create their own shapes and structures.

Use of Tinkercad in the 3D printing process

Tinkercad offers many supports for the 3D printing process primarily in the area of design creation and modeling. You can create designs from scratch using a variety of shapes, building blocks, and settings. It's also possible to work with vector shapes, so you can create true 3D models from 2D models.

The principle in each case is reminiscent of a construction kit. Several simple shapes can be used to successively create complex models. A simulation of the design is also possible in the software, so that it can be tested with regard to its functionality.

If you want to learn Tinkercad, check out my Tinkercad tutorial in German and learn the basics.

File formats with Tinkercad

  • STL
  • OBJ
  • SVG

Tinkercad: Costs, trial version and operating systems

Tinkercad is a free web app that is used by students as well as teachers or private users.

Cost & trial version

There are no costs for the use of Tinkercad. The program belongs to the portfolio of the company Autodesk and is provided by them free of charge. Consequently, a trial version is not available.

Supported operating systems

The download of a software is not required for Tinkercad. It is a web app that can be used from anywhere in the browser. So it doesn't matter which operating system you use.

Advantages and disadvantages of Tinkercad in 3D printing

Tinkercad offers both advantages and disadvantages for 3D printing. Below we have listed all the strengths and weaknesses of the tool for you.


  • Free use of the program
  • Use of prefabricated building blocks and designs possible
  • More than 50 million users provide ideas and inspiration
  • High usability and optimal for beginners


  • Available file formats limited
  • Range of functions manageable compared to paid tools


Using simple shapes and elements, Tinkercad allows you to construct complex 3D models. You can use the software for free and even as a beginner you can make your first steps within a very short time. The tool is enormously user-friendly, which is one of the reasons why students or teachers like to use it.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions & answers about Autodesk Tinkercad

Tinkercad is definitely suitable for beginners and even children. The software is easy to use and provides easy-to-understand modeling capabilities. Since there is no cost to use, newcomers to 3D printing also take no risks.

Tinkercad allows users to perform various functions. Thus, 3D designs can be created and more than ten different functions can be used for this purpose. Individual designs as through Lego structures are also possible. Furthermore, Tinkercad allows to create circuits or write code blocks for facilitating designs.

A long start-up time when learning Tinkercad is not necessary. The program is designed very intuitively and allows a quick start even without previous experience. After just a few days or even hours, the usage should be completely clear.