App Review: Tinkerplay

Cost: Free
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Age Levels: 6 and up
iPad App Link 

Autodesk keeps going away from its old tradition of expensive desktop software with this free app aimed at kids that not only takes full advantage of a touch interface, but also adds the capability of 3D printing. 

At first I was frustrated by the interface, but I eventually attributed my frustration to being far older than the intedended user who will likely have no problem navigating the 3D space. A little patience paid off and I was drawn in, imagining the possibilities for younger users as they put their imagination and ingenuity to work. Building from scratch or beginning with pre made designs, users can build their own robots from three dimensional stock parts that are modular in nature. Add color, texture, and backgrounds to customize your design. Then, here’s the clincher – you can output your design to a URL and download the set of parts to 3D print them, bringing your design to life in the physical world. The app will even tell you the estimated print time based on your, parts, settings, and popular 3D printers. 

I ended up fiddling around with it some more, output a series of images, then pieced them together in the Stop Motion Studio app to make this little stop motion vid. 


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