Tinkercad, the first to bring a browser based 3D printing CAD to the masses, today announced it has received one million dollars in seed funding led by True Ventures with angel investment from Eghosa Omoigui, Taher Haveliwala, Jyri Engestrom, and Joshua Schachter. The company will use funds to reach and teach a wide audience how to use CAD software and have their own creations 3D printed. From jewelry and accessories to toys, household items, car parts, and industrial hardware, Tinkercad makes once expensive manufacturing capabilities accessible to everyone.
“With significant funding for Tinkercad, we can further reach out and help millions of people get started with 3D printing and designing fun and meaningful things. You only need a browser to use Tinkercad and have your project ready for printing in minutes,” said Kai Backman, Tinkercad CEO and co-founder. “We use game-like quests to teach what we call ‘design literacy’, understanding the design of physical things. By lowering the barrier of entry, our users have been able to create and print a wide variety of awesome items. Right now there are four to eight-year-old kids designing their own toys using the software, showing that everyone can create and innovate with Tinkercad.”
According to the 2010 White House commissioned Factory@Home report, by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman, Tinkercad contributes key tools to enable an industrial evolution:
“Emerging manufacturing technologies will usher in an industrial ‘evolution’ that combines the best of mass and artisan production models, and has the potential to partially reverse the trend to outsourcing. Personal manufacturing technologies will unleash “long tail” global markets for custom goods, whose sales volumes of will be profitable enough to enable specialists, niche manufacturing, and design companies to make a good living… Ideally, to accelerate the adoption of CAD software aimed at the personal manufacturing market, design software would need to be easier to use and optimized for the unique constraints and capabilities of the physical manufacturing process.”
Tinkercad is free to use, and encourages sharing designs under a creative commons license. In addition to printing on their personal 3D printers users can order designs directly through Tinkercad from printing services like Shapeways and i.Materialise.
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