Autodesk released 123D Design, a free 3D-modeling tool, on Thursday. It helps users quickly and easily create 3D models that they can then print.
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Unlike other more complex design apps, 123D Design uses natural interactions for creating and editing, making the process simple for beginners who might not understand complex CAD concepts.
“Someone who’s brand new and doesn’t know how to work in 3D can start with this stuff and learn how to assemble things," Christian Pramuk, 123D's apps product manager at Autodesk, told Mashable. “You can be a complete novice, or you can delve into it and get quite a bit done.”
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The app lets users create 3D objects by using base shapes, which can combine and interact naturally with each other. For instance, if users want one object to be on top of another, they simply drag it there.
The app has a number of built-in shapes to help users get started, and also offers several pre-loaded “kits,” such as a robot kit that helps build an object using pre-selected parts. Parts can be re-sized and customized to meet users' personal preferences, and additional pre-set kits are available on 123D's website.
Once users have created an object, they can save it to their device or to the cloud. Objects saved in the cloud will head to a special “My Projects” section of Autodesk, which users can then access from other Autodesk apps, such as 123D Make, 123D Catch and 123D Sculpt.
The free tool is available on the web, for Macs and PCs, as well as for iPad.
“People said this couldn’t be done on iPad, and we’re happy to prove them wrong,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of consumer products at Autodesk. “We believe that everyone is creative, and we intend to put easy-to-use design software in the hands of millions of people, so they can create real objects, have fun doing it and then fabricate the things they want and need, just the way they want them.”
Check out the gallery of screenshots from the Mac and iPad versions of the app, below; then, let us know what you think of 123D Design in the comments.
123D Design for Mac
This story originally published on Mashable here.