123D is a free solid modeling software program based on the same Autodesk technology used by millions of designers and engineers worldwide. Not an engineer? No problem, with Autodesk 123D you can design precise and makeable objects using smart tools that let you start with simple shapes and then edit and then tweak them into more complex shapes.
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A whopping 482MB download, over 1.5GB installed, Window$ only. Well… at least you don’t have to pay for it – yet. And it doesn’t seem to require .NET bloatware.
A decent CAD program for the masses. Now if it only ran in a virtual machine as well. It’s bigger brother (Inventor series) runs fine virtualized already (software rendering). Hopefully they will fix that issue. Can’t wait to test it. If it is anywhere near the capabilities and ease of use of the Inventor series CAD software, google sketchup is toast.
If only this was a CAD program worth using. There is no doubt the power on offer here is unparalleled at the price but 123D is actually really painful to use.
There is an effort being made here to offer a powerful solid modeler with a sketchup level of ease of use but they have made some horrible decisions along the way, perhaps to avoid competition with their own high end software.
At its core this is a parametric modeler with the heart cut out of it and push/pull modelling bolted on. Some parametric elements are still left but enduring relationships between feature sketches and the model have been removed and there is no history for features.
Why is this bad? Because 123D is a solid modeler you aren’t free to tear the model apart and stitch it back together like you can in Sketchup AND because there is no history for features you can’t undo or modify existing geometry that way either.
Push and Pull does not feel limiting in Sketchup but in 123D it’s the only modify existing geometry trick in the bag and its not enough. I make a lot of modifications to models as I experiment so it doesn’t suit me at all.
Happy to hear from anyone who has had a different experience to me.