I've been asked to provide some input on a new book about TinkerCAD, and so first thing this morning I checked out the software, which is cloud-based and runs only in Web browsers. When I pointed my ChromeBook to tinkercad.com, the following sign greeted me:
I tracked the service's Twitter feed to learn that the problems began last week, January 9:
Tinkercad (@tinkercad) Jan 9: Sorry everyone, the team's been scrambling to get it back on all day. Check this feed for more updates.
Tinkercad: Tinkercad hit a certificate expiration, causing the editor to freak out. Have to go offline to refresh, hoping to be back up tomorrow AM.
Tinkercad: Aaaaaand… we're back. Tinkercad is back online, locked and loaded. Sorry for the inconvenience! #3Doh!
Then a far worse problem struck this week, beginning Tuesday:
steffanie yeakle (@steffanie) Jan 14: @tinkercad Hi ! Are you having problems today ? Been trying to log in for a couple hours or more and just isn't working
Mr. Cooper (@MrCooper30): Trying to use your site in my classroom today. Is the site down?
Tinkercad (@tinkercad): I'll check with the team, hang tight.
The first estimate from Autodesk was that TinkerCAD would be back up the same day, but then the estimate grew. At time of writing this, Autodesk hopes to have the site back Friday, a four-day outage.
Tinkercad (@tinkercad) Jan 14: Tinkercad is stalling out a bit today - the team is aware and we're pushing a fix - hopefully by end of day. Please forgive the delay. :(
Tinkercad (@tinkercad) Jan 15: Tinkercad is down for maintenance - rather than let it limp with the issues from the last few days, we're doing a complete reboot.
Rod Milstead (@rpmteacher): Any timeline for bringing the site back up? My students are eager to get back to work. Thx.
Tinkercad: We're addressing all the issues that have come up in the last few days, aiming for the end of the week.
Corinne Okada Takara (@CorinneTakara): End of the week; do you mean by Friday? I'm teaching a free public #3dprinting workshop Saturday & we are using Tinkercad.
Tinkercad: Sorry all, we're about halfway through the server correction. It's been a couple of late nights and early mornings to get it back.
Tinkercad (@tinkercad) Jan 16: As a free app, Tinkercad wasn't built to bear such an awesome spike in use, we're creating infrastructure to better support our users.
Tinkercad: Best TC explanation: There were lots of dominoes set up and the dog bumped the table, hang on while we superglue them back in order.
Todd Schlemmer (@theschlem): I would pay cash monies for a version of your great machine that didn't require an internet connection. I'm dead in the water.
Tinkercad: We've got something in the works :) Hang tight
From the last bit, it appears that Autodesk has a solution to the problems created in running software on the cloud. I wonder what it might be.
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Update: TinkerCAD reported it was back up on Friday, 17, but Saturday some users on Twitter were complaining it was running slow.