We Bid a Sad Farewell to Tinkercad

[UPDATE: Autodesk Saves Tinkercad from Extinction]

Today we bid a sad farewell to Tinkercad, one of the easiest 3D modeling apps plugging into the Shapeways 3D Printing API.

When Tinkercad launched in early 2011 as a simple browser based, drag and drop interface for 3D modeling, it made it easy for anyone to create a 3D form.  In August 2012 when Tinkercad plugged into the Shapeways 3D Printing API it also became one of the easiest ways for people to learn how to 3D print their own designs which is why we used it to teach everyone from 2nd graders to senior citizens how to design for 3D printing.  With the introduction of the ability to import existing designs Tinkercad also became one of the easiest ways to modify and customize an existing design.

Luckily we are seeing more and more 3D printing apps plugging into the Shapeways 3D Printing API to make it easier for people to access 3D printing but Tinkercad will be missed.

For Tinkercad users they are rolling out the closure in stages:

  • Effective immediately they have closed sign-ups for new users    
  • April 30 2013 – All free accounts will be changed to read only    
  • August 31 2013 – All academic accounts will be changed to read only    
  • December 31 2013 – All paid accounts will be changed to read only    
  • June 31 2014 – Read only access for all users will be discontinued 

This means if you currently have files stored on Tinkercad, you will have until June 31 2014 to download them from their storage and/or upload them to another repository such as Shapeways, Sketchfab or Thingiverse.  If you have unfinished models in Tinkercad you have a limited time to make the modifications to export and/or 3D print them.

There is also an FAQ with additional details.

We wish Kai, Mikko and the Tinkercad team the best of luck as they move away from the
development of the Tinkercad user interface and onto Airstone Labs.

7 comments

  1. Brad Dickason

    What a bummer :(

    I love Tinkercad’s vision of a community based around 3D Design. They did a really great job of building a super-positive community and inspiring people to share their wonderful stories.

  2. Bathsheba

    People sometimes ask why I don’t keep more of my setup in the cloud…this would be why.

  3. MrNibbles

    I can’t think of many science or engineering software companies that haven’t had the goal of putting their software tools right on the desktops of users for most practical work. In addition many of them have developed multiprocessor capabilities that can run within a computer or across a network to achieve the gains possible with parallel computing techniques (such as Matlab). As I understand it the TinkerCad (now Airstone) servers have been developed to allow massively parallel processing capability using many thousands of processors to enable near real-time analyses of whatever technical geeks might need to analyze that would be beyond the abilities of locally sited computing resources. It probably makes more financial sense to charge corporations and government for computer processing time to do complex simulations than it does to sell subscriptions to individuals and educational institutions to run a rather rudimentary CAD program. Of course this is just conjecture!

    It will be sad to see TinkerCad go since it was fun to introduce people from the ages of 5 to 80 to basic 3D modelling using a laptop and then hit a few buttons to have a bobble manufactured for them. Thanks for the memories!

  4. Luis

    Would Shapeways not be interested in investing in the purchase of Tinkercad and integrate it into the service?

    Cheers,

    Luis.

  5. andrew

    Try http://www.publishyourdesign.com/modeler, a browser based 3D modeling tool, which provides similar functions as TinkerCad, and perhaps more. Beside the capability to build models using pre-define shapes, the web app is also able to create shapes from 2D sketch using advanced modeling tools extrude, revolve, sweep and boolean operations. It works offline. You could save model in local and save to cloud when has network access later. Model can be exported as STL for 3D printing as well.

  6. Shapeways Blog

    Autodesk has announced that it has purchased Tinkercad and it’s core technology to resurrect the browser based 3D modeling app from the dead. Several weeks ago Tinkercad killed the popular 3D modeling app, closing new users and announc

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