Thursday, May 19, 2011

123D free 3D solid modeling by Autodesk in beta

We got a sneak peek of 123D some time ago but not much info. Now it’s here and it’s a new free 3D solid modeling software based on Inventor Fusion.

Here is what Autodesk says:

We believe that inventive ideas have the right to be made into real objects. We love it when an idea becomes tangible; when you hold the real thing you dreamed up and made in your hands, and realize how awesome you are because check it out, it works!

That feeling is what we're all about, our mission is to provide access to the tools to help you take your concept and make it reality. This is your home for useful tools for making things; for giving shape to that idea you have, exploring it, and most importantly, making it. Here you'll find software, content, and making services that work together so you can create, explore, and quickly make a physical prototype of your project.

Autodesk® 123D™ is a public beta because we're growing and developing, and we want your input! So please, post your ideas to the 123D product forum, we're interested in what you're thinking!

With Autodesk 123D, anyone can explore, learn and create highly precise 3D models. Makers can bring ideas to reality by combining powerful digital design with services for creating physical objects. From both within the application and through the 123D website, individuals can discover and download content to start, complete or visualize a project, and then access for-purchase personal fabrication services through Autodesk 123D partners. Makers can also purchase pre-fabricated products to explore 3D printing or assemble models from 2D laser cut materials like cardboard—the first of a variety of custom fabrication options coming soon to Autodesk123D.

Autodesk 123D users can print their designs on a 3D printer or use the for-purchase personal fabrication services featured on the Make It link in the application. To supply these services, Autodesk forged alliances with new partners that have extensive experience providing the maker community with the ability to create a unique project at home or to have it fabricated elsewhere and shipped. Partners currently include:

  • 3D Systems — A leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions and custom parts services supplies 3D printers to Autodesk123D users who want to make things in their own garage, shop or school.
  • Ponoko — This online service for manufacturing connects Autodesk123D users to various personal fabrication outlets. Ponoko’s Personal Factory platform gives creators local access to specialized fabrication methods and a range of materials to turn 123D digital creations into physical things.
  • TechShop — A membership based do-it-yourself workshop where entrepreneurs, artists, inventors and other makers go to bring their ideas to life. Autodesk already supplies TechShop members at locations around the United States with software and training resources, and now Autodesk 123D users can access computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines, welders, table saws, drill presses, laser cutters, industrial sewing and textile equipment and 3D printers on-site at TechShop.

See more on Between the Lines post Autodesk 123D - Go Make Something.

The download is available at and is around 400MB. For Windows only so far.

A setup screenshot.

And here is the application window.

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