Learning from experience is the essence of Case-Based Reasoning (CBR). Because architects are said to learn design by experience, CBR seemed to hold great promises for their field, which inspired, in the 1990s, the development of various Case-Based Design (CBD) tools. Learning from the experience of developing and using these tools is the objective of this paper. On the one hand, the original expectations seem far from being accomplished today. Reasons for this limited success can be found at three different levels: the cognitive model underlying CBR, the implementation of this model into concrete CBD tools, and the context in which these tools are to be used. On the other hand, CBR research seems to have caused some interesting side effects, such as an increased interest in creativity and copyright, and a re-discovery of the key role that cases play in architectural design.