Autodesk 123D: design in 3D, print, cut, create (yes, it’s that easy!)

I’ve been writing a tutorial about Autodesk Photofly, until now the best way to convert 2D photos into 3D models (and show off on your iPad!).

Now it’s time to get real 3D… in the real world!

Autodesk has just released Autodesk 123D: a complete service for 3D design, modeling and printing.
The Autodesk 123D Make Technology Preview turns any 3D model into a pattern of flat parts that can be cut and assembled into an artful creation, be it wood or strong paper.

How does it work?

Download the Mac OS X-only software and start building 3D models, or work with exisisting ones.
Design makeable objects using the free 3D CAD software that lets you start with simple shapes and then edit and then tweak them into more complex designs.
Drawing on beloved Autodesk Photofly, you can user 123D Catch to take photos of your favorite people, places and things and let the power of the cloud magically transform them into detailed 3D models.

autodesk 123DWith 123D Make automatically turn your 3D model into a pattern of flat parts that can be cut and assembled into an artful creation.

The end line it’s up to you: you can print your 2D parts and cut them out by hand, with a laser cutter (if you’re lucky enough to have one or you belong to the Skywalker family), or have your cut parts delivered straight to your doorstep thanks to Autodesk 123D service.
I recommend reading the 123D tutorial pages about 3D printing and the STL file format that’s used to export 3D models.
If you go for Autodesk 3D printing service, you can choose among four durable plastic, each best suited for specific projects and objects.

Take note that the Autodesk 123D Make Technology Preview is currently available only for Mac OS X, and the preview software will expire on 1/31/12.

[Via Autodesk 123D]

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