Two Million Tinkerers

The Tinkercad team is making much hay this week about having reached the significant milestone of having 2 million registered users. Congratulations are indeed in order. That said, I hope all of AutoDesk appreciates that 2,000 users or 2,000,000 provides little benefit to individual users -- and several disadvantages. The ramp in accounts over the course of the 4 years since AutoDesk took over stewardship of the web-based Tinkercad app has not been at all smooth. Each additional user put the experience of all existing users at risk. Yes, the Tinkercad development team is to be lauded for the Herculean efforts and their on-the-ground, behind-the-scenes accomplishments in scaling the site to support the every-advancing membership roles.

Unfortunately, this multi-year investment in scaling the site has left management little appetite for funding the now desperately-needed features and improvements users have been clambering for - and said management has been promising for all 4 years. I still finding myself pages through many of my 800+ designs I've accumulated over the years looking for the one I'd need. There are no persistent user preferences. There's a nasty bug in the very core of Tinkercad's graphics engine that limits my ability to create designs using rotated shapes. The Shape Generators API still has significant architectural flaws that have been known, documented and solvable since before its initial release. Our most creative contributors to the Tinkercad gallery are routinely ripped off by the unsavory few who copy then claim ownership of their creative works.

While we congratulate AutoDesk for enabling Tinkercad to scale to the extent that it has, it's time for the company to focus on users who deserve the features, fixes and improvements that we so desperately need.


- Bob


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