3D model of a steampunk gear. Source: Corey Strange/Tinkercad.com
3D model of a steampunk gear. Source: Corey Strange/Tinkercad.com

1.     Open new Workspace in Tinkercad.

2.     Click and drag a red cube in from the right side toolbar. Don’t adjust anything on it.

3.     While it’s selected, Copy and Paste another beside it using Ctrl C and Ctrl V (Apple C and Apple V on a Mac) shortcut or dropdown menu: Edit-Copy and Edit-Paste.

4.     Rotate the new box 45 degrees by clicking and dragging the black arrow on the lower left corner of the new box (see image below for example).

5.     Select both boxes by clicking Ctrl A. A light blue box bordered by a dashed black line will appear around them (image below). Note: This box gives you the outer dimension of the group.

6.     Click on the Adjust button on the top row of Menu bar, select Align from the dropdown.

7.     Black and grey dots will appear around your cubes, surrounded by lines. Click the center black dot but not any grey. The boxes should now be aligned at their centers creating an octagon.

(Image above show cubes before alignment.)

(The image above shows cubes after alignment.)

8.    Without clicking anywhere else, Copy-Paste current object and a new octagon should appear. Rotate this shape 22 degrees.

9.    Hit Ctrl A and Repeat the Adjust-Align-Centering steps on these two octagons (FYI- “hexdecagon” is a 16-sided polygon).

10.  Repeat the Copy-Paste and rotate the hexdecagon 11 degrees. Repeat Adjust/Align function.

11.  You now have an “icosidodecagon”— a 32-sided polygon.

12.  Hit Ctrl A then Group on the upper task bar. The internal lines will disappear leaving only the outside outlined.

13.  Drop the object down to about 3 mm.

14.  Bring in the brown “Hexagonal Prism” from the right-hand toolbar and drop it somewhere on the Workspace. Click and hold the Shift key then click and drag the object from one of its corners. Resize it to about 4 mm.

15.  While it is selected, change the brown hexagon into a hole from the upper menu box next to the color selector. It will turn to a grey striped pattern (see image below).

16.       Adjust-Align both objects together then Group them. Your object should look like this.

17.       Congratulations! You now have a basic gear! Now you can print it

From here, you can play around with various alterations to this design. Personally, I like to bring in a Tube Thin as a Hole then play around with various open/closed patterns (see image).

If you’d like to continue to make the design in the main photograph, let’s continue. If not, have fun on your own!

18.       Drop in a letter I from the right-hand menu. Copy-Paste it so you have a pair.

19.       Arrange them on opposite sides of the hexagon hole. Use the Align tool to help center them then Group them to adjust their angle.

20.       Copy/Paste this pair two times and adjust their angles around the center (see image below).

21.       After you’ve completed this for all 3 pairs, hold the Shift key, select each pair and Group them together.

22.       Push them down into the red gear then Group them with the gear.

23.       Last piece— Drop a Tube Thin from the right menu.

24.       Adjust the height so it’s taller than the gear (about 4 mm) and the outer dimensions (12.75 mm).

25.       Drop it somewhere inside the gear and Align them.

26.       Change the tube to a Hole then adjust the height so it barely dips into the gear.

27.       Group with the gear.

28.       YOU ARE FINISHED! What will you do with your gear?