This pathway includes two different options for designing 3D models. You can choose to explore Tinkercad (beginner) or Onshape (intermediate/advanced).

I was able to retrieve three 3D printers from my classroom and have them set up at my house. I will 3D print any models that are sent to me by students at Sherwood, Oak, or Shrewsbury High. These printed models will be available for pickup at a later date.

I’m here to help!

Email me with any questions you may have ( You can also share your design with me in both Tinkercad and Onshape. That would allow me to collaborate with you on your designs and help you fix any errors there may be.

There are FOUR different options you can choose to explore 3D Modeling:

1. Tinkercad – Beginner (Web-based + App)

Tinkercad is a free 3D modeling website from Autodesk that lets you design complex objects by adding and subtracting different shapes such as boxes and cylinders. If you’re working on your iPad, you should use the Tinkercad app in Self Service. Tinkercad also lets you share designs with your friends, so you can work on the same design from your own homes.

View the Tinkercad Resources page here.

2. SketchUp for Schools – Intermediate (Web-based)

Google SketchUp is a browser-based 3D modeling platform that lets you create complex 3D models using a unique set of tools. It is really unlike any other type of modeling software. It has an intermediate level of difficulty (more advanced than Tinkercad but not as sophisticated as Onshape or Fusion 360). While you can make a wide range of designs with Google SketchUp, it is often used for architecture and woodworking design plans.

SketchUp for Schools is available to all schools with a Google Suite for Education. I believe Shrewsbury usually qualifies for this, but you can use it until June 30th without getting any other authorization. Just simply log in with your school Google account! This link provides more information as well as design tutorials you can follow. Please note that this is NOT the same as the educational version of SketchUp Pro. That has more features and requires you to install software.

View SketchUp for Schools Resources page here.

3. Onshape – Intermediate/Advanced (Web-based + App)

Onshape is a professional web-based CAD design program. Like other professional CAD programs, you usually start with a 2D sketch that is then extruded into a 3D object.

There is a much higher learning curve compared to Tinkercad, but it’s also rather intuitive, and they have excellent resources to help you. Once you get the hang of it, it’s also pretty fun!

The entire program runs on the web, so there is no software to download. If you’re working on your iPad, there is even an iPad app available to download in Self Service. The app is quite functional, but if you’re new to Onshape, I highly recommend learning on a computer first.

Onshape also lets you collaborate simultaneously on projects with other students, so you and your friends can design together from your own homes.

Onshape offers a free maker account, but you should sign up for one of their education accounts. It’s equivalent to their “Standard” account, which normally costs $1,500/year. You will need to verify your school email in order to use the education plan. The school technology department has already whitelisted Onshape, so you WILL be able to receive the email from them.

View the Onshape Resources page here.

4. Autodesk Fusion 360 – Advanced (Software download)

Autodesk Fusion 360 is a professional CAD software currently installed on all computers in the 339 Lab and Design Lab classroom. It’s typically used by high school and college students as well as engineering design professionals. Instead of combining shapes to create complex designs, you typically start with a sketch that’s defined by measurements and constraints. The sketch is then extruded into a 3D object.

There’s a much larger learning curve compared to Tinkercad, but Fusion 360 lets you to design more advanced models for printing. It’s similar to Onshape but even more advanced and comes with an even higher learning curve.

Fusion 360 is a computer program you must download to a computer, but it still syncs to the cloud, so you can work on any computer, and your project will be saved. Fusion 360 is expensive, but it’s free for education! (In order to get it for free, you must register for a free Autodesk using your school Google account. This proves you are a student.)