Late News: Tinkercad Acquired By Autodesk Before Shutdown, Team Continues With Airstone

    We’ve been crazy busy putting together a few things the last couple weeks, but one news item that slipped through the cracks was the acquisition of Tinkercad by Autodesk. I’ve been really curious about 3D printing in the Nordics, so just to put it in the ArcticStartup record of events, here’s what went down.

    Tinkercad has drawn praise in the maker community by providing an easily accessible and accurate online 3D Modeling to be used by 3D printers. For example, Tinkercad makes it easy to add and edit simple solid shapes to create objects like sunglasses with fitting parts, but without the heavy need for complex modeling software on your computer.

    Despite this praise, in March of 2013 Tinkercad mentioned that they would be slowly shuttering Tinkercad and moving their energies to Airstone, a new interactive simulation environment powered by a supercomputer. The goal of this new tech is to help aid product design and engineering firms to turn batch simulation into a real-time environment to run multi-physics simulations.

    Before the plug was completely pulled on Tinkercad, Autodesk made the acquisition of the Tinkercad IP public on the May 18th, now allowing new users to register and will keep the service alive. It sounds like a win for everyone involved, as Tinkercad can add some undisclosed amount of cash to their Series A investment, Autodesk gets a consumer modeling product to their portfolio, and users can continue to create their models.

    “For me, personally, it was a huge victory to see the product actually continue and not to have to pull the plug and leave all those users high and dry,” CEO Kai Backman told WIRED. “There were a lot of poeple that had a hard time finding a replacement.”