Autodesk 123D Beta 4.2

A 3D modeling and CAD tools program aimed at hobbyists and some professionals.

  • Category:

    3D Design

  • Version:

    Beta 4.2

  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    6.0 (34)

Autodesk 123D is a user friendly AutoCAD tool that's great for hobbyists and students looking to learn the basics of three dimensional design, but it likely isn't going to stand up to the needs of serious professionals. Where 3D design is concerned, Autodesk is one of the biggest names in the business, and their technological platforms stretch across an enormous number of different disciplines. The idea behind 123D is that users can create their own objects which can then be created with a 3D printer. As such, many of the more complex features you might expect in more specialized software platforms have been stripped out, and 123D focuses instead on a suit of easy to operate applications that can zero in on the needs of the user.

Eight components make up the Autodesk 123D experience, and each of them brings something fresh to the table. One of the most intuitive is the Autodesk Catch. Users can scan in pictures of an object taken at different angles and rely on Catch to form the results into a realistic 3D design. That simplifies the task of replicating an item found out in the real world using a 3D printer, and enterprising designers who don't want to muss with building a virtual model from scratch can even create their own 3D model in the real world, take pictures, and then use that naturalistic model to create a blueprint. Catch serves as one of the flagship components of this package, and it even offers a dedicated marketplace where customers can trade their own designs. Unfortunately, as is the case with many of the applications in this suite, this convenience comes at the cost of control, and your ability to manipulate these objects is significantly limited.

For users with more experience in real world model design, Sculpt+ can be a valuable resource. By replicating the sensation of a sculptor's study, it allows you to create models by manipulating virtual clay. On the less creative and more logical end of the scale is Circuits, which is designed to assist with circuit design and breadboard prototyping. Rounding out the package are Make and Design, which take more traditional approaches to 3D design, and Creature. Creature is an especially cool tool that transforms your iPad drawings into virtual creatures. While it might not have much in the way of practical application, it can be a great way for both parents and kids to lean more about 3D modeling. The suite also offers a 3D printing app in the form of Tinkercad and a mesh manipulation tool in the form of MeshMixer.


  • A whole mess of different 3D modeling pools stuffed into a single accessible package
  • Designed to be accessible to amateurs and allow them to create real, printable 3D models


  • Software has been officially discontinued and no longer receives updates from the publisher
  • Ease of use greatly limits the feature set, putting it behind multiple competitors in terms of versatility

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