Foldable Rectangular Prism: Visual Tinkercad Tutorial

The foldable rectangular prism is a 3D printable manipulative for students to explore the properties of a geometric figure. The design was created in Tinkercad which is an easy to use and powerful design tool. Rather than try and write detailed step-by-step directions, I have created a visual tutorial that shows a timeline of the construction of the design in the Tinkercad workspace.


The first Tinkercad workspace shows the creation of a rectangular and square side. The sides need beveled edges so that the design can be folded into a rectangular prism. Key steps are to add geometric shapes, resize shapes, rotate shapes, convert shapes to holes, align shapes and group shapes.

Rectangular Prism Components

The second Tinkercad workspace shows how multiple sides are aligned together. A thin skin is added to connect all the sides together into a single object.


The final Tinkercad workspace shows the final foldable rectangular prism available for download and 3D printing.

Rectangular Prism (The design is also available for download at Thingiverse.

Tip #1: Add the ruler to the workspace. The ruler allows you to manually enter the size and position of the object.
Tip #2: Hold the shift key while rotating an object to have the rotation snap to 45 degree increments.
Tip #3: Change the snap grid in the lower right to 0.1mm to enter precise adjustments.
Tip #4: Rotate the view to see how the shapes are assembled together. Pay attention to color coding.
Tip #5: The skin height is 0.2mm which is the intended layer height of the 3D print.

A 3rd grade teacher requested a foldable rectangular prism after seeing my foldable cube and tetrahedron designs. I did the original cube and tetrahedron designs while exploring the features of FreeCAD which has some advanced features but also has a steep learning curve. I have been recommending for teachers to use in the classroom so created this foldable rectangular prism tutorial to show that Tinkercad can be used to create ‘real’ 3D printable designs. This visual Tinkercad tutorial is an experiment in sharing the design process. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or contact me on Twitter @designmaketeach or Facebook

Virginia Grade 3 Mathematics Standards of Learning
Focus: Properties and Congruence Characteristics of Plane and Solid Figures

3.14        The student will identify, describe, compare, and contrast characteristics of plane and solid geometric figures (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, cube, rectangular prism, square pyramid, sphere, cone, and cylinder) by identifying relevant characteristics, including the number of angles, vertices, and edges, and the number and shape of faces, using concrete models.