3D Designing (TinkerCad Software)
About Lesson

How Does 3D Printing Work?

It all starts with a 3D model. You can opt to create one from the ground up or download it from a 3D library.

3D Software

There are many different software tools available. From industrial grade to open source. 

We often recommend beginners to start with Tinkercad. Tinkercad is free and works in your browser, you don’t have to install it on your computer. Tinkercad offers beginner lessons and has a built-in feature to export your model as a printable file e.g .STL or .OBJ.

Now that you have a printable file, the next step is to prepare it for your 3D printer. This is called slicing.

Slicing: From printable file to 3D Printer

Slicing basically means slicing up a 3D model into hundreds or thousands of layers and is done with slicing software.

When your file is sliced, it’s ready for your 3D printer. Feeding the file to your printer can be done via USB, SD or Wi-Fi. Your sliced file is now ready to be 3D printed layer by layer.


  • 2D vs 3D

In 2D and 3D, the “D” specifies the dimensions involved in the shape. So, the primary difference between 2D and 3D shapes is that a 2D shape comprised of two dimensions that are length and width. As against, a 3D shape incorporates three dimensions that are length, width, and height.


  • Definition of 2D Shapes

We can consider that the shapes which can be produced on a flat surface are said to be 2D (dimensional) Shape. In other words, the shapes that only have length and width are the 2D shapes.

Now, what a 2D shape is? Before understanding the 2D shape, we must know what a 0D object is, which means there are no dimensions. A 0D shape is defined by a point.

  • Applications

All the parallel projections and one-point perspective projections in plans of some object are made in 2D. Geological maps also made in 2 dimensions, in which we use the method of contouring to show the depth with the help of different shapes, even in oceanography also.


There are various types of 2D shapes, among which some of them are shown below.


Definition of 3D Shapes

3D shapes are solid shapes, unlike 2D shapes which are produced by combining 3 Dimensions – length, width, and height. The real-life examples of these shapes are buildings, balls, boxes, anything that has 3 dimensions. Let’s consider a cuboidal building which is built with length, width, and height in a 3D shape.


These are used in several applications, such as in 3D animations, 3D designing of some product building, bridge, tools, 3D graphs, maps etcetera. The 3D shapes help in showing the depth of the object. To illustrate the 3D in engineering, we use 2 and 3 point perspective projection and orthographic projection.


The shapes included in 3D shapes are sphere, cube, cone, cuboid, pyramid, and so on and the below-given diagram represents the 3D shapes.