Holiday Special: 3D Modeling & Parametric Design For Your Kids

Issue #07

I’m Vignesh Kaushik. I curate and write articles on Thank God It’s Computational to help architects, designers, and urban planners leverage cutting-edge technologies on AEC projects.

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Parametric Design For Your Kids

BlocksCAD - Drag & Drop Visual Coding on the Browser

If you want to teach your 8+ aged kids (or teach yourself) the basics of Parametric Thinking, this is easiest block programming tool. You simply drag and drop code blocks available from a huge library of blocks to create 3D objects. You can snap together code blocks to form group of commands. You can then adjust the values in the blocks and see your model recreate itself.

Scratch - Interactive Animations & Games on the Browser

Scratch makes the journey to coding a lot more fun for kids (age 8+) with animations, sound, event and data sensing, pen operations etc. Scratch will teach your kids programming concepts—variables, conditionals, and loops—without having to worry about the syntax.

3D Modeling For Your Kids

Build with Chrome - LEGO + Chrome = Awesome

I am a huge fan of LEGO and cannot get enough of it even as an adult. This virtual LEGO builder is so simple that it can get addicting. Your kids (age 4+) can have as many pieces as they need, change color at will and even hear a clicking sound when they attach them. If they don’t like using the mouse, they can use their fingertips on a touch screen too. More importantly, there are no loose LEGOs to step on; so it will save you some real pain.

Tinkercad - Browser Based 3D Design and Modeling tool

Tinkercad has probably the best user interface for kids (age 6+) that is lively, colorful and intuitive. It is the best place for kids to learn how to group shapes together, make boolean operations on those shapes and create shapes from 2D & 3D vector objects.

Leopoly - Browser Based 3D Sculpting tool

Leopoly is the easiest to use sculpting application I’ve ever used. You can start off with a simple sphere, which you can then, pinch, sculpt, smooth and shape like a ball of clay. You can imagine it as molding play-doh on the browser. It’s that easy and your kids (age 6+) will love it.