Tinkercad, the web-based CAD program, is a great gateway for new designers to learn the basics of computer-assisted design. Those basics get a little more powerful with the announcement of new features that allow users to do everything from integrating electronics to exporting to Lego.
The announcement, which happened today at Maker Faire Bay Area, specifically gives educators and casual users the ability to save their custom designs to their toolbar, allowing for intricate creations to be recalled instantly and used repeatedly between specific builds. It also adds two embeddable electronic circuits — an LED throwie option for light-up projects, and a vibro-bot function for jittering movement. This feature will place cavities for the components into your design; when you 3D print them (Tinkercad already has a simple export function for 3D printable files), the spaces are ready for you to add batteries, LEDs, or motors to make your designs come to life.
The group, owned by Autodesk, also announced further integration with its Fusion software via an export to Fusion function, which will allow users to apply advanced tools into their Tinkercad designs (like chamfered edges and rendered finishing), and an export-to-Lego tool.