Autodesk has been busy expanding its new “maker”-oriented product line of 3D software products. The company has recently introduced two new products for the 123 family of software: Autodesk 123D Catch and Autodesk 123D Make. These join 123D Sculpt and 123D.
Autodesk sees the maker movement as a key step in the next industrial revolution, whereby local manufacturing and product making becomes a growing industry. A Young and Rubicon study puts the DIY (do it yourself) market at $700 billion.
Autodesk 123D Make is Mac OS X only at the moment and allows you to slice up a 3D model into flat plates or sheets which can easily be cut out by hand or via a laser cutter or similar device. These flat plates are then assembled together to create a physical 3D model. Autodesk 123D Catch is the new name for the old Autodesk Labs Photofly technology and is only for Windows at the moment. With 123D Catch you capture photographs of an object you are interested in from various angles and create a 3D model from the photographic data. This is photogrammetry and we’ve written about such products here at Architosh in the past.
All these new 123D tools are essentially quite young and Autodesk is pushing them out into the wild while they are still in Labs. The goal is to get people to use them and give them key feedback for their evolution.
Autodesk has been acquiring many smaller software firms and so the inconsistent platform coverage is a reflection of where the tools have emerged from–which software teams and players working on such and such platforms–and not a reflection of the company’s OS coverage or organization. The goal is to make them work across multiple and even platforms as best suited to markets.