Tinkercad

Just been inspired by Greg & Karen Johnson on the VEX IQ Robotics Facebook Group. TBH I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. How difficult would it be to bring all the IQ parts over into Tinkercad? Is this something that Autodesk could look at as a global partner? I like SNAPCAD, it has it’s uses, but just image the capability of using Tinkercad to allow children (and big children) to use 3D CAD within their engineering journals? I use Inventor and Fusion 360 with older children with VRC, but I think were missing a trick? Any thoughts?

There is a large collection of IQ parts in STEP format available on this page (link “Download All VEX IQ CAD”).

If you can batch-convert those STEP files to a format Tinkercad can import (STL or OBJ), then you’d have a tinkercad-compatible IQ parts library.

Some info about doing that batch conversion in Solidworks can be found here, and google searches for terms like “batch convert STEP to STL” seemed promising.

Another option that may suit your needs would be to use a different LDraw editor. (LDraw is an open-source standard for LEGO CAD; SnapCAD is just an LDraw editor pointed at a library full of IQ parts.) The LDraw IQ parts library can be downloaded from this page, and I discussed this in some additional detail in this thread.

A list of LDraw editors can be found here.

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As mentioned, Tinkercad doesn’t seem to accept STEP files by default but I converted some to OBJ just to try it and snapping pins and beams together was a breeze. I couldn’t quite get my head around the gears, they seemed to import on a different grid and I just couldn’t get them to align easily without messing with the grid resolution every time but I only played with it for a few minutes. On the face of it, seems pretty feasible.

I think VEX and Autodesk should sort this?

Well from what he says it seems to be an easy fix and not much of a hassle. Though it would be easier if vex released the 3d files as one tinkered would accept.