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Autodesk releases two new free consumer 3D apps

Thursday, November 10th, 2011 | Posted by Jim Thacker

YouTube Preview Image
The launch video for image-based modelling tool 123D Catch: the app formerly known as Project Photofly.

Autodesk has released two new free 3D tools in its entry-level 123D product line: 123D Catch and 123D Make.

123D Catch will be immediately familiar to anyone who has used Project Photofly, the developer’s cloud-based photogrammetry system, released as a technology preview via Autodesk Labs earlier this year – simply because 123 Catch is Photofly, given a new name and wider release.

In contrast, 123D Make is an entirely new Mac-only product. Aimed at hobbyists and indie designers, it converts a 3D model into a series of 2D layers for fabrication.

The new releases bring the number of apps in the 123D line to four, following the release of CAD package Autodesk 123D and iPad sculpting app 123D Sculpt earlier this year.

PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
Autodesk, Inc. has introduced two exciting offerings in the company’s emerging Autodesk 123D family — Autodesk 123D Catch and Autodesk 123D Make Technology Preview. The offerings enable anyone to quickly and easily capture 3D models from the world around them, and additionally turn 3D models into their own artistic creations. The new technology is further proof that Autodesk is continuing to push boundaries in personal manufacturing, empowering more people to imagine and create things, and share them with others whether for fun, learning or profit.

The Autodesk 123D Catch application — previously codenamed Project Photofly on Autodesk Labs — is a new, public beta release that uses the power of cloud computing to quickly transform digital photos into photorealistic 3D models. Anyone capable of using a point-and-shoot, mobile phone or advanced digital SLR cameras to snap a series of photos of objects, people or scenes can use 123D Catch to generate impressive 3D models. Capturing your own personal avatar or favorite vacation scenes in 3D is now both possible and easy. The app also has built-in sharing capabilities with short movies or animations for viewing on mobile devices, YouTube and other social media channels.

Autodesk 123D Make application is a also a new, free* technology preview for the Mac, capable of converting digital 3D models into 2D cut patterns that can be easily assembled in low-cost materials, such as cardboard, wood, fabric, metal or plastic. The cut pieces come together to create a physical representation of the original digital model.

123D Make enables users to create art, furniture, sculptures or other quick prototypes in order to test how a design will look in real life. Autodesk developed this technology to act as a digital engineer capable of helping individuals create 3D models and, eventually, transform the models into the real thing. 123D Make is designed for creative self-expression or for users that perhaps can’t find what they’re looking for in mass-produced items and decide to make it on their own.

The Autodesk 123D family also includes the Autodesk 123D desktop application, enabling makers to bring ideas to life by designing highly precise and makeable objects. The Autodesk 123D Sculpt free* app is for sculpting and painting 3D creations on the iPad. Inventors, tinkerers, artists, entrepreneurs, and arts and crafts enthusiasts can use the Autodesk 123D portfolio on a variety of platforms and devices, with access to content, Autodesk fabrication partners and social connections at a single destination.

*Free products are subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license and services agreement that accompanies the software.

Visit the Autodesk 123D Catch website

Visit the Autodesk 123D Make website

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