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3D design, at the click of a button

LOS ANGELES — As 3D printing creeps into more and more projects, making product production more accessible, I’ve always wondered how we can make product design more accessible. How can the average person take advantage of the plethora of resources out there for creating new objects?  While open-source tools like Audacity and Open Office have made music and word processing easier and more affordable to engage with, the resources surrounding 3D printing and design are steadily growing.

Enter Tinkercad, which calls itself the world’s first browser-based CAD. (CAD stands for computer-aided design, and is shorthand for the software that engineers use for drafting 3D models.) What does this mean for the user? For just a low subscription rate, anyone with a web browser can embrace the world of 3D product design. Tinkercad comes with a host of interactive shapes and modeling tools. Designs can be ported directly to Tinkercad’s partner 3D printing services that can print and then ship your work to you. Browsers have to be WebGL-enabled, so that means only Chrome or Firefox at this time.

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