Tinkercad Tools: Ruler

Objectives and Overview

This lesson introduces the Tinkercad ruler tool. The ruler is another helper tool with functionality aiding in precision design. In previous versions of Tinkercad, the ruler was the only reliable method to enter precise dimensions. However, Tinkercad has made changes since 2014 that have shifted some of this functionality away from the ruler tool. With that said, the ruler still has uses that enhance the accuracy and precision of your designs.

Lesson Objectives

  • Recognize how the Tinkercad ruler tool can aid in precision design.
  • Demonstrate how to add and remove the ruler helper tool from your Tinkercad design.
  • Recognize use cases where the ruler is beneficial.

What is the Ruler?

The ruler is the other Tinkercad helper tool alongside the workplane. The ruler adds additional measurement elements to the Tinkercad project interface. Much like the workplane, you’re able to add and dismiss the ruler as needed.

Adding a Ruler

Let’s look at a video walkthrough demonstrating how and when to use the ruler tool

Additionally, here is a great resource on Instructables that walks through how to use the ruler. This tutorial is from 2015 so it uses the previous version of Tinkercad. The interface looks different but the information and overview are still applicable.

Tinkercad Practice

There isn’t a specific Tinkercad lesson connected with the ruler. Feel free to come up with a fun challenge for the youth! Here’s a quick visual overview of the process of adding a ruler to a Tinkercad workplane:

Here’s a rectangle that’s been added to the workplane. It’s not currently selected, so there’s no dimension information available:

Red rectangle on the Tinkercad workplane

Once you click on the rectangle, the shape information panel will become available, as well as some basic dimensions. In this screenshot, the bottom right bounding box has been clicked. The small box turns red once selected — compare this to the other white boxes on the outside of the shape.

Red rectangle on the Tinkercad workplane with width dimension visible

Next, select the ruler in the top right corner of the Tinkercad interface. The ruler is next to the workplane tool. Once selected, drop it onto your current workplane:

Red rectangle on Tinkercad workplane selected with Ruler visible

Click on the rectangle. Notice that all of the dimensions are now shown! All dimensions of the shape are now displayed.

Adding a ruler to the red rectangle on the Tinkercad workplane

Additionally, you can click on any of the numbers and edit them. Try typing in some precise values.

Ruler showing all available editable dimensions on the red rectangle in Tinkercad

The visual information can quickly become cluttered and full of extra boxes and numbers. Typically, you’d want to deploy the ruler, make your precision edits, and then dismiss it so that your workplane has less visual noise.

Keyboard Shortcuts: Ruler

The ruler has one notable keyboard shortcut:

  • R key: Pressing the ‘R’ key brings out the ruler. Once you have it out, click on the workplane to add it.