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Nov 7, 2011

Transforming 3D As We Know It: Autodesk 123D Family Expands

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) 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.

Capturing 3D models has helped a research team that used Project Photofly in the field at the Pompeii archeological site to document and analyze the architecture of one of the city's largest, but least understood buildings.

“Although standard archaeological recording practices are reliable, they are painstakingly slow,” said Eric Poehler, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Each year we have only a limited amount of time at Pompeii to capture the archeological site through 3D models, and with Project Photofly, we were able to dramatically increase our efficiency and accuracy.”

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.

“Today’s DIYers need a range of cutting-edge 3D tools to make the most of the artistic and economic opportunities in the emerging maker movement,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products at Autodesk. “Autodesk is committed to removing obstacles to creativity and innovation in this time of the new industrial revolution.”

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.

Pricing and Availability

The Autodesk 123D Make technology preview is available as a free* download for the Mac at www.123Dapp.com/make. The Autodesk 123D Catch public beta app is available for free* download from www.123Dapp.com/catch.