At the peak of pandemic-induced school closures last April, 85% of all K-12 enrollees, or 1.5 billion youths, were affected worldwide. As educators sought new ways to engage students in distance learning, Tinkercad’s web-based solution welcomed a quarter-million new teachers, supported millions of classrooms, and helped more than 7 million new makers take their first steps in design and make.
Most of these new makers were middle-school STEM educators looking to build 3D literacy through project-based learning and standards-aligned lesson plans. Some were postsecondary students and educators who used our Circuits editor to simulate electronics such as Arduino without a physical classroom; hearing the need from educators, we then brought micro:bit to Tinkercad in record time! Others were professional makers who mocked up quick ideas in Tinkercad before exporting their designs to professional-grade tools like Fusion 360. Others still were hobbyists, enthusiasts, and creators who simply discovered the magic of making and never looked back.
To all who join us on this journey, we say: Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here.
For ten years, Tinkercad has supported a vibrant community of teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers. Since its public launch on March 26, 2011, Tinkercad has introduced more than 35 million people to the world of 3D design, electronics, and coding. Every month, millions of teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers sign in to Tinkercad.com to imagine, design, and make anything.
This week, as Tinkercad celebrates its 10th birthday, we’re also celebrating our community of 35 million makers strong. But it couldn’t have happened without a few special pieces falling into place, including:
Co-Founders Kai Backman and Mikko Mononen, whose mission was to make 3D modeling accessible
Head of Product Guillermo Melantoni, who has led the product’s evolution alongside Lead UX Designer Darin Hughes since Tinkercad joined the Autodesk family in 2013
Educators and hobbyists who continue to champion Tinkercad in their classrooms and communities as we improve and expand the product – including the addition of Circuits in 2017, Codeblocks in 2018, Tinkercad Classrooms in 2019 and micro:bit in 2020
Our friends at Instructables who attract a formidable community of makers that help teachers inspire, engage, and prepare students by authoring hands-on projects for the classroom
The entire Autodesk family that works across borders, business units, and time zones to bring us the Tinkercad we know and love today
To celebrate the diverse and multitalented members of the Tinkercad community, we asked Donald Bell, longtime maker and trusted voice of the Tinkercad blog, to share how inspirational makers started with Tinkercad and where they are now: Dutch fashion-tech designer Anouk Wipprecht, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria professor Agustín Arroyo, Instructables PM and YouTube star Becky Stern, Jen Schachter who leads special projects at Adam Savage's legendary "Cave" workshop, brothers Noe and Pedro Ruiz of Adafruit, MythBusters Junior team member and young inventor Allie Weber, Joel Telling of 3D Printing Nerd, and self-taught maker and robotics extraordinaire Jorvon Moss.
Then, we asked Donald Bell, our beloved Tinkercad blog editor and host of the weekly Maker Update, to take a break from behind the scenes and give us the scoop on his latest project.
Every member of the Tinkercad community is also invited to our week-long birthday bash. After signing into Tinkercad, look for a special invitation to the #tinkercad10 design party on your dashboard. In true Tinkercad spirit, participation is BYOD: bring your own design.
And when you're ready, you can try your hand at our favorite Instructables celebrating 10 years of Tinkercad. From a micro:bit-powered potato-bot to code-generated snowflake ornaments, these community-sourced projects are serious learning made seriously fun.
Wherever you teach, whatever your students make, Tinkercad is easier than ever to bring to all learners. This week, we’re inviting educators to join our one-hour Teaching with Tinkercad PD on Thursday at 4pm Pacific Time. American digital artist and former AP Computer Science Principles teacher Dr. Nettrice Gaskins will be joined by Autodesk’s Kellyanne Mahoney to demonstrate how to teach the 'A' in STEAM with Tinkercad. Dr. Gaskins uses Tinkercad codeblocks to bridge creative computing with creative expression, empowering students to explore their favorite artists and artwork through code.
By popular request, teachers will soon receive co-teaching capabilities in Tinkercad Classrooms, with more lesson plans on the way. In addition to our Arduino tutorials, the Tinkercad team is working hard to develop micro:bit content for those getting started with electronics. Best of all, Tinkercad continues to be free and easy-to-use for anyone of any skill level, anywhere in the world.
Here at Autodesk, Tinkercad is a student’s first step in their futureskilling journey to acquire the skillset, toolset, and mindset to thrive in the classrooms and jobs of tomorrow. Starting with Tinkercad, students can go from manipulating basic shapes on a work plane to real-world product designs. They can even realize their designs in the physical world with 3D printing, breadboards, and circuits. When students are ready to take the next step, native Tinkercad designs can be exported directly into Fusion 360 with the click of a button, allowing students to extend their workflow with professional-grade tools used by industry.
As we look to the next decade, we are excited to light the path for students today with the skills to solve tomorrow’s most pressing design and engineering challenges. We find motivation in customers who take on today’s most complex challenges and deliver design solutions that alter the very fabric of our planet. We aren't just helping our customers peer into the future. We are helping them create it. And we believe that starts with lifelong learning that is personalized, portable, and pragmatic.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating ten years of Tinkercad, and the next ten.