Every design usually starts with a sketch on a piece of paper. Most of the time students draw a 2D object and then convert to a 3D design. What if we could take the actual drawing and turn it directly into a design.

1. Download an image or take a picture of the drawing. For this example, I am using my son's high school image. You will need to convert it into an SVG file. The file cannot be saved directly without tracing the design to add data to the file. I like to use Inkscape on a Windows computer and Drawberry for the Mac. If you are have Adobe Illustrator, it can be used to create the SVG files. Load the image into the software. When importing an image in to the workspace, make sure to select "Embed" to make sure the image is fixed to the space (Figure 1). The image will appear in workspace ready to be traced (Figure 2)

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Figure 1
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Figure 2
2. Use the "Draw Freehand Lines" tool to trace the drawing. With complicated drawing such as this one, Multiple tracing of different parts to have a correct finished product. As show in Figure 4, the back part of the image was draw to separate from the other pieces. Make sure to delete the background image before saving the file. There are files below that are the separate SVG file if you would like to practice placing them together in Tinkercad.

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Figure 3

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Figure 4



3. Log into Tinkercad. You can either create a login or click on "Sign In With Other Social Providers" to access the software. Select the "Create New Design" button to open a new workspace. On the right side, select the 'Import" button to load in the SVG file. I like to load all the files in to the workspace before resizing them.

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Figure 5
tinkercad1.jpg tinkercad2.jpgFigure 6 Figure 7
4. After selecting the SVG file from the dialog box, the Import Shape box will appear. You can control scale and size of the objects. Sometimes the drawings are larger the maximum dimensions of 1000. If it is larger than the space, change the number in the box to 1000.
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Figure 8
5. I usually load in all of the SVG files before resizing them. Doing this keeps everything in proportion to the other files. Select all the items by using Control-A or Command-A to have all the items scale at the same time. Click on one of the corners and drag toward the other corner to shrink the items. Move the items in to the correct position .
tinkercad4.jpg tinkercad5.jpgFigure 9 Figure 10
6. When all the parts in the correct spots, select all of the pieces
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Figure 11 Figure 12