Tinkercad Founder & CEO, Kai Backman, has just announced, via the Tinkercad blog, that he and his partner have made the ‘difficult decision’ to wind up this entry-level 3D design application in favour of “an innovative new simulation environment called Airstone” which has been developed in parallel with Tinkercad since the guys set up in 2010.
According to Backman, “[The] vision was that a software platform created specifically for supercomputers would let us build some very exciting applications…. 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.”
It seems that Airstone will be the product of these breakthroughs but at the expense of Tinkercad which will be phased out over the next 15 months as follows:
- Effective immediately – sign-ups for new users have been closed
- 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
Funnily enough, I was only thinking yesterday, as I wrote up the IBM story that referred to Tinkercad that the guys have been really quiet recently. I guess I have my answer! I am also thinking that with the Autodesk 123D apps, they were struggling to compete, particularly since they introduced paid subscriptions.
It is sad news, but with the benefit of hindsight — not that surprising.