Cherokee Language Syllabary for 3D Design in Tinkercad

Cherokee Language Syllabary in Tinkercad: Go directly to to make a copy of this design. Each character represents a syllable in the Cherokee language. Learn more about the Cherokee language at Screen Shot 2020-10-12 at 8.08.10 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-12 at 8.07.30 PM

The purpose of this article is to present an approach to incorporating indigenous languages into the teaching of 3D printing design. This work is theoretical in that I do not teach or work with students studying the Cherokee language or culture. Rather the Cherokee font is intended to be representative of non-Roman character sets not currently incorporated into 3D design tools.

Frequently, the first 3D printing design challenge presented to students in design software such as Tinkercad is to customize an object with their name. Creating a name tag keychain familiarizes students with navigating the 3D design environment and basic tasks such as adding, moving and resizing geometric primitives. A library of capital letters enables students to easily add each letter to their project. When the design is 3D printed the student leaves with a personalized object connecting the student to the digital fabrication process.

Converting non-roman character sets into a library of 3D glyphs, allows students to easily create their name in the target language. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the right to languages as an inherent right for indigenous peoples. Further more the United Nation recognizes language rights as the direct application of basic human rights such as freedom of expression. Creating design aids such as the Cherokee Language Syllabary in programs such as Tinkercad works to promote and normalize these rights in the 3D design world.

In creating the Cherokee Language Syllabary for Tinkercad, I referenced the Unicode Standard Version 13.0 Cherokee documentation for organization.

The font file used was Plantagenet Cherokee as packaged in MacOS 10.15.7, designed by Ross Mills of Tiro Typeworks. Another font option is Noto Sans Cherokee

Converting Cherokee Font to Tinkercad Workflow
-Open Illustrator document 200mm x 200mm
-Insert Text -Change font to Plantagenet Cherokee
-Type –> Glyph
-Insert Character
-Type –> Change to Outline
-Resize character to 150mm x 150mm
-Center character on artboard
-Save file as SVG -SVG Profiles: SVG 1.1
    -CSS Properties: Presentation Attributes
    -Decimal Places: 3
    -File name = (Unicode Standard Number)
    -CHEROKEE-LETTER-(Letter Name)
-Open Tinkercad file
    -Center on: Art
    -Dimensions: Length: 11.44mm
    -Change height of character to 4 mm

Any errors in the creation of this resources is mine alone. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions for correcting errors or making improvements.