Using Tinkercad Sim Lab to animate your 3D Models

Tinkercad Sim Lab is a new STEAM feature in Tinkercad (since March 2023), that allows you to experiment with different layouts, materials, physics laws (e.g. gravity, forces, etc), and have fun while creating simulations.

Any 3D design can be put into motion i.e. become movable and interact dynamically with other 3D objects, or you can select and define static objects if you don’t want them to move freely. Setting different properties and materials for your objects (e.g. wood, plastic, metal, etc.) makes them behave differently in the simulation. The shapes, weight, bounciness, smoothness, etc. of an object affect the way they move when they come in contact.

See here for a short introduction and example simulations like mazes, domino falls, marble tracks, projectiles, etc.

The Getting Started tutorial demonstrates how easy is to use the Sim Lab workspace and provides step-by-step instructions. 

You can start a simulation, replay it, reset it, and record it. The Share feature makes it easy to export videos and save images of a simulation.

Some possible STEAM applications include:

  • Experimenting with the layout and the materials of 3D objects and see what fun and interesting chain reactions you can create.
  • Experimenting with gravity and randomness.
  • Plan out your 3D designs before building them in real life, and try them out using different materials to get an idea of how well they will work.
  • Create design challenges for your students