Mar.26, 2013

Tinkercad team announced today that they will be discontinuing development of Tinkercad. Instead they are working on an innovative new simulation environment called Airstone.

Tinkercad, the web-based 3-D modeling system created by Kai Backman and Mikko Mononen, is specially designed to help amateur makers to turn your idea easily into a CAD model for a 3D printer. This is a sad news for those people who loves the sytem and has just got used to using it. But we are also curious about the potential of Airstone and what changes it can bring to product design world.

The homepage of the Tinkercad site is aleady replaced by the closure announcement:

Announcing Airstone and the closure of Tinkercad


When Mikko and I founded our company in 2010, our core idea was to leverage a web browser UI and high performance computing to disrupt computer-aided design and engineering. Our vision was that a software platform created specifically for supercomputers would let us build some very exciting applications. In early 2011 we launched Tinkercad on this platform. It was the first cloud-based 3D CAD ever built and has grown to be a successful product in its category.

In parallel with Tinkercad, we continued development of the core platform. In October 2012, we launched a scripting interface for one of the key components, the Gen6 geometry modeling kernel. And finally, in late 2012, we had several major breakthroughs in our research work on the core platform that opened up application possibilities we had never imagined possible.

In response to these breakthroughs, I'm excited to announce an updated roadmap. There are two major parts to the new roadmap: 1) we are working on an innovative new simulation environment called Airstone, and 2) we will be discontinuing development of Tinkercad. You can read more about Airstone in the official announcement.

To help the engineering team focus on Airstone, I have made the decision to pull the team off Tinkercad. Aside from emergency maintenance, there will be no further feature development work and we will eventually turn the site off.

The Tinkercad shutdown timeline will be:

  • Effective immediately we 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

There is an FAQ with additional details that we will keep updating as questions arise.

It was a hard decision for the team to stop working on Tinkercad. However, I can speak for everyone when I say we are very excited about the potential of Airstone.


So what is Airstone?

Airstone is an integrated software and hardware service, an interactive simulation environment powered by a supercomputer, says the announcement. "The Airstone simulation environment turns batch simulation into a real-time environment where the user can interactively test different product designs."

"The fundamental technologies of Airstone - the Gen6 geometric modeling kernel and the custom cluster management system - were key components of the very popular consumer modeling package Tinkercad."

It is also announced the company has closed a Series A financing round led by True Ventures, with new investments from Borealis Ventures and Lifeline Ventures.

"When they founded Tinkercad and set out to build the web's leading cloud-based CAD tool, Kai and Mikko had to first build a supercomputer-scale modeling kernel. In the process of following our close friend Steve Blank's customer development process, the team at Airstone Labs identified a far more exciting market for their groundbreaking computing platform: real-time simulation and computational engineering. We are thrilled to support such an incredibly talented team as they rush full bore into this space with tremendous technology already live. Our adventure with Airstone is just beginning, and all of us at True could not be more excited." says Jon Callaghan of True Ventures, who will be joining the Airstone Board of Directors.

 

 

 

Posted in 3D Software

 

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Robert wrote at 5/7/2013 2:10:19 AM:

They really think all their frustrated customers will happily switch over to their next temporary thing?

Gordon wrote at 3/28/2013 3:17:31 PM:

Disappointed to me as well that tinkerCAD is closed. While, very recently, a follower Design Something is coming. After trying a couple of minutes, I find Design Something provides similar functions, although it is not as pretty as tinkerCAD. If you are a tinkerCAD fan, I recommend you to try Design Something. Get it by visiting "http://www.publishyourdesign.com/modeler" or search the keyword "Design Something" in Chrome Web Store.

saberworks wrote at 3/28/2013 1:03:17 AM:

Disappointed, have recently been reading up on 3d modelling for 3d printing and there were a lot of recommendations for tinkercad. Oh well, will use something else.

Dan. wrote at 3/27/2013 12:11:05 AM:

This is why I will stop using cloud based services, the cloud is a fog to trap fools and their data. If you are not using open tools saving your data in open formats you are asking for somebody to make a business decision that gives you a very bad day. From now on I will only use cloud services that I have complete control over and that are fully portable solutions, or are time-share type services such as rendering farms.



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