3D Printing Projects

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3D Printed Key Tag

In this project, we’ll be using Tinkercad to design a key tag to pimp your bag. Throughout the challenge, you’ll learn how to add text to your 3D models and cut through them with other shapes.

This is a beginner-friendly tutorial, so no experience is required. All you’ll need is a computer and a Tinkercad account to follow along.


Step 1

Building the base

Let’s give it a name

First, click up in the project name bar. Give your project a name that identifies what it is.

3DP renamed example 1

Edit the size of the workplane

Click on the Edit Grid button at the bottom right of the window. This lets us change the size of the workplane.

3DP click edit grid

EduKits will only be able to print your design if it is a certain size. Set the grid size to 75mm x 75mm and click ‘Update Grid.

3DP update grid properties

Your screen should now look like this. You can zoom in using the scroll wheel of your mouse.

3DP updated grid window small scaled

Add a cube

Left click on the box shape in the toolbar to the right. Drag this onto the Workplane (the grid in the centre of the screen).

2019 04 22 12 02 39 scaled

Edit the dimensions

When you hover over the cube, you will notice small boxes appearing around its sides. Click on one of the white boxes on its corners. Now left click on one of the numbers that now appears along the side of the cube.

3DP start editing dimensions

Clicking on these numbers allows you to change the length and width of the box. We want the dimensions to be 75mm long and 20mm wide, but you can try different dimensions if you’d like.

3DP resize new dimensions

If the base moves off the Workplane, just left click and drag it to reposition it.

Finally, change the height of the base – it needs to be a bit thinner, otherwise it won’t fit on a keyring. Click on the white box that sits on top of the red base. This controls its height. Change this dimension to 4mm high.

3DP new resized height

Step 2

Adding text to the tag

Add a new Workplane

We’re now going to prepare the base to add some text. First, we need to change the position of our work area to be on top of our box, rather than under it. In the right-hand menu, left-click ‘Workplane’.

3DP click add workplane

Next, click on top of the red base shape. A new workplane has now been created on top. This means that any new objects we drag into our space will be added on top of our base.

3DP add workplane

Add a ‘text’ shape

We can now add some text to our bag tag. In the toolbox on the right, find the ‘Text’ shape and left click on it. Then left click on top of the base to position the text. If the text option is not showing, you may have to scroll downwards to find it.

3DP add text shape scaled scaled

Editing our text is going to be a lot easier if we can view our design from the top. In the top left of the window is View Box which lets us choose how we view our project. Click the option that says to ‘Top’.

3DP change to top view

You’ll now be able to see what your bag tag looks like from the top.

Add your name, or someone else’s

Now that you’re in top view, it’s time to change the key tag text to the name of your choice. Different font options are also available.

If you have a long name, there’s going to be some resizing to do to make it fit.

3DP customising text result scaled scaled

Resizing and repositioning

While holding down the shift key (to maintain height and width ratio), click on the top right corner and slide inwards to make the text smaller.

3DP resize text to fit scaled

Now that it is resized, we need to properly reposition the text onto the base. Make sure there’s a little room left to the top left of the key tag as we need to add a hole later for the keyring.

3DP resized text on base

Left click on the text and hold the click while dragging to reposition the text. Release the click to place the text where you want it.

3DP reposition text on base

Remove the Workplane

Before continuing onto the next step, we’ll remove the Workplane we added for this step. Click the Workplane icon again, then click the amber (orange) grid to make it disappear. BOOM!

Step 3

Making a hole for the ring

Add a hollow cylinder

Create a hole in our shape by clicking the hollow cylinder. You can find this shape at the top of the shapes Toolbox on the right.

3DP click hollow cylinder scaled

Next, click on our shape to place the hole. It will ‘drop’ wherever you click your cursor. Make sure that you don’t place it somewhere it could cut through the text!

3DP shape hole dropped

Update dimensions

Click on any of the white boxes on the corners of the cylinder to bring up the length and width dimensions. Change these both to 6mm, which should be enough to fit a keyring through it.

3DP hollow cylinder update dimensions