Sketch and Text with Tinkercad

We are pleased to announce new Shape Generator capabilities available in Tinkercad!

Tinkercad offers some great shapes to help get you started, and with the introduction of Shape Generators (formerly known as ShapeScripts), the power to create is completely expanded.

Now, we don’t expect everyone to be able to create their own Shape Generator using Java Script, although we definitely encourage all of you to take a try. So in order to make Shape Generators more flexible and accessible, we added sketching capabilities using the Autodesk Creative Platform. To learn more about sketching with ACP, check out this link.

So let’s see how we can apply this to a Shape Generator. Check out our in-depth instructions below to become a Shape Generating master, and be sure to share the new shapes you create. Happy sketching!

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Merci Beaucoup! 3D Print Show Paris All Wrapped Up.

Whoo - after a long week of flying and chunneling, we ended a great week of 3D Print Shows.  London was very exciting, with people from all over coming to say hi and learn more about 3D modeling. 

Based in the Carrousel de Louvre, it was essentially a remix of the London show, only with a lot more French. By the end of the week, my technical (if not conversational) French was parfait, but fortunately, our awesome Paris Autodesk staff came by to help bridge the language barrier.

Some attendees were professionals looking for new ways to model, like with MeshMixer or 123D Make, others just wandered in from the Louvre, not knowing what they were getting themselves into.  But in all, the show was a success and it fit nicely in one of the oldest museums in Europe.

Thanks to everyone who came by - maybe we'll see you next year!

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused

By now you've likely heard about the brand new 123D Catch for iOS 7 - it makes turning photographs into detailed 3D models even faster and easier - read more about the improvements here.

To celebrate the release we want to share an amazing story that combines the technology of 123D Catch with the beauty of art by announcing 123D Creations! This project comes in collaboration with our friends over at Dazed and Confused, and together we embarked on a journey with four artists to explore their creativity using 3D design and printing technology. Over the next month we will share how the artists have used the Autodesk 123D suite to express themselves. 

For the first installation, artist Lawrence Lek opted to use 123D Catch to create a piece he calls "KI$$." Check out the video below to see how Lek transformed his vision into a tangible reality using 123D Catch.



Isn't that amazing? Head over to Dazed for more details, and don't forget to keep checking back here for upcoming projects over the next few weeks!



123D Catch for iOS7: All grown up!!

It is my great pleasure to announce a brand spankin' new 123D Catch for all iOS devices running iOS7. 123D Catch is available at the AppStore right now here!!

 123D Catch: All grown up. Now for iOS 7

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I have to let you know that 123D Catch has grown up today. You can see the difference in our faithful volunteer/poster child, Aidan, who has also grown up. See his captures above from when we first launched 123D Catch two years ago, and compare it to those from the new version. Check out this quick video peek at what's in store with this monumental upgrade:


Under the hood (aka in the cloud), processing your captures has been completely reworked with you in mind! The new 123D Catch pipeline significantly improves on the old process: stitching all of your capture photos together automatically, and creating detailed 3D images with crisp photo-real textures. Yes, gone are the days of manual stitching!!

That's only on the backend...we've also designed a brand new, slick app exclusively for iOS 7. Some highlights and geek speak:

  • Guided capture: dynamic visual feedback while capturing to ensure you are shooting the best possible photographs.
  • Engage with and follow other 3D photographers and their projects in the gallery.
  • Increased photo limit to 70 photographs so you can ensure complete coverage.
  • Advanced 3D previews of captures in the gallery
  • Processing higher resolution images means finer details in your capture.
  • App will now wait for a wifi connection to upload photographs for a capture, unless you explicitly tap the go ahead to use your data plan.
We hope you are as excited about these new updates as we are! Be sure to check back into the blog tomorrow for an amazing project that exemplifies all the amazing new things 123D Catch can do.
Visit for more info!


Come see us at the 3D Print Shows in London and Paris!


We're gearing up for the London and Paris 3D Print Shows next week and are looking forward to seeing what's happening across the pond.  There's going to be so many great exhibitors - be sure to attend if you're in the area.

123D Creature is also up for an award for the Best Online/App-based Service!  Be sure to vote and look for us at booth #'s 5&6 in London and #4 in Paris!

Introducing 123D Circuits

123D Circuits Banner 

Autodesk... Electronics... Really?  YES.  It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the launch of 123D Circuits - today! 

At Autodesk we work hard to empower you with an ever growing lineup of free 3D tools.  But why stop there?  We were eager to help take your projects one step further.  To do so, we teamed up with to bring you what we think is the very best electronics design tool on the market: 123D Circuits.  But you don't have to take my word for it, see for yourself... (Note: 123D Circuits links will open a new tab on a separate website)



Here are some of the most compelling features:

  • Virtual breadboard based design, allowing to build and experiment with circuits just as you would in real life.
  • You can add an Arduino to your design, and edit the code right in your browser.
  • Real-time and interactive simulation of both your Arduino code and the circuit attached to it.
  • Full collaborative editing (think of Google Docs for electronics).
  • Powerful yet easy component editor, making it super easy to add new components to the shared library.
  • Easily create beautiful circuit boards with: free text, b-splice silkscreen art, arbitrary board shapes, …
  • Ability to embed your design, including simulation on your blog or in an Instructable.

123D Circuits is part of a suite of awesome 123D applications on
Keep checking back for more exciting application announcements - this won't be the last...!



What’s new in 123D Design?

123D Design online has just released version 1.5 with a lot of great enhancements, including a smoother feel, new tools, and more options for file formats.

If you have already used 123D Design online before, I’m sure you’ll be really delighted with these improvements. For first time users of 123D Design online, please visit to enjoy this new experience.


Okay, let’s take a look at what’s changed:

1.    New UI

First of all, you will notice a lot of changes in the UI:

  • The new background and grid color are crisper, and you may also notice that we are converging with Tinkercad in regards to visual design. Familiarity both in look and feel and in certain features will also help on a smoother graduation from Tinkercad into 123D Design online for users that are looking for some extra power.
  • Some of the actions that were living in the Attribute Manager (which appears at the bottom when objects are selected) were moved into the new top toolbar. Frequent operations like Move, Rotate, Scale, and Switch Planes are easier to see now.
  • The rest of the actions have been grouped under three drop-down menus. The first one for actions like Mirror, Invert, Ruler. The next one for Finishing Tools (fillet, chamfer, shell), and the last one for actions that manage bodies (group, ungroup, flatten).
  • The file’s name is displayed at the top, making it easier to identify.
  • If you need to switch from perspective mode to orthographic mode, simply click F8. An orthographic projection can help you easily align objects.


2.       New tools.


We released Invert in the UI some time ago, but sometimes you want more than just inverting a model based on its bounding box. That’s where Mirror comes in. Now you can select a plane, make it cruise just like any other object, align to any face, and even move the plane away or into that selected face. Now that’s what we call power!




We have a fantastic system called Inferencing that allows you to move individual objects while referencing other objects for a precise location. But you can’t do this with multiple elements. That’s where the new Align tool comes in. Once a user selects multiple objects, Align tool will show a widget that will help you preview the results.





Ever needed to understand how far an object was from another one? The new ruler tool will come in handy for this. Drag the ruler, cruise with it, snap it to any element of the scene, select the object you need to measure and voila – distance measured.




3.       File formats and more.

We bring you Insert File, which allows you to add a Design Model into your current file - this was previously only possible via the Parts Bin. You can browse My Projects or local files for SMB or SAT files, cruise them on the current model, and keep working. Imagine how easy it will be now to reuse any of your own models, or models from the Gallery.


Import EPS.

We had added SVG import a couple of releases ago, however SVG is not the only vector format out there. EPS is still widely used, so we added an option to import files of this type as well. You’ll be able to use any vector work you have created, or download the massive amount of vector art available in the web.



Support mesh for Export 2D.

Now that meshes are supported in 123D Design online, we also need to extend support for meshes when creating a DWG file. Meshes introduce an issue that is not a problem with most solids, so we cleaned up the linework created from the models, and we also now display hidden lines.




We hope you are as excited about these new updates as we are! Let us know what you think in the comments.


Exporting from Tinkercad into Minecraft!

When thinking about how to improve the experience for Tinkercad users, one of the relevant things to consider is what they are doing with the product. Once we relaunched Tinkercad and started gathering a better understanding of the user base, it was very clear that our users were trying to build models for Minecraft, without a clear and easy way of doing the export.

When talking to some of these users, we learned about the current steps to export into Minecraft, which involved the usage of several applications, the understanding of a lot of file formats and the loss of information (as the color).

This was the main driver for this new and exciting feature. Let’s see how it works.

First of all, let’s open a model in Tinkercad. If this is your first time, go to and create your profile.

In this case, I made a castle by using some of the shapes available in Tinkercad, and also imported an STL file from 123D Creature. image1

If you are not familiar with Tinkercad, it has a very simple and intuitive way to make operations between objects. Simply define some of them as holes, and once grouped, they will subtract from the rest of the solid objects in the group. This is the way I made the battlements at the top of the walls and towers.


In order to import an STL file into Tinkercad, you should use the Import option, which allows you to browse for an STL file in your computer. Then you will define its size (which you can then scale up or down after being imported).


Once you got your model finished, click on Design and select Download for Minecraft. This will invoke a dialog where we’ll define the size.


In order to define the size, we need to give a reference based on mm (which is the unit used in Tinkercad’s grid). In this case, if we want to keep the level of detail on the battlements, the size in mm can’t be more than 2mm per Minecraft block. The lower this number, the higher the resolution and the higher the size inside Minecraft.

Once you click export, Tinkercad will allow you to download a *.schematic file, which is the file you will import into MCEdit (the Minecraft editor).


If you have never used Minecraft, after installing the game, you need to create a new world. You may want to check the options for creating a large world, or a flatter one.


Once your world is created, you will need to close Minecraft and open MCEdit. These applications can’t be open at the same time. This is a really important tip, so make sure you close one before opening the other. You may also want to make sure you have the latest of both. Minecraft is currently in the 1.6.2 version (you can get it here: MCEdit is currently in version 0.1.7 (you can find it here:

When you open MCEdit, you will find your world in the menu. If you don’t see it, click on Open a level and try to find it. MCEdit will default to the location where Minecraft saves the levels, so this should be easy anyways.


Click on Import in the options below, and you will be able to locate your model in the scene. Check the options in the panel on the left in order to have more control on the location.


You may also want to make sure that your character spawns next to your model. Click on the option highlighted below and define this position. If you are in a big world and you appear really far from your model, you will need to do some walking, and probably find some zombies or skeletons along the way.


Save your model in MCEdit, close it, and then open Minecraft. Your model will be in place, and you will also notice that Tinkercad also kept the colors of your model (as much as we can, since we need to map to the block colors we can find in Minecraft). While developing the exporter, we found out that we could not map the color red to Lava Red. Our first export was a house, and all the bricks started melting. Pretty spectacular, but not too useful to keep the enemies outside at night!


I hope you’ll find this feature as fun and useful as we found it. Big thanks to the amazing development Tinkercad team (Petr, Brandon, Frederic), and also a special thanks to Eric Haines, who showed us the possibilities around Minecraft. You may want to check his work in

You can also watch this video that shows the whole process. Enjoy!

Introducing 123D Design Online!

Around 6 months ago, the 123D Design team launched a series of products that could empower users with little to no CAD background to create, edit and customize 3D models for fabrication.

Let me introduce you to the newest version of 123D Design online. 3D modeling on a browser is not exactly new. In fact, we now have the popular modeling program Tinkercad as a member of the 123D family. So what makes 123D Design online so unique? It provides tools for fine tuning and editing models that has been so far seen in products like AutoCAD, Inventor, and Fusion 360. You can now round and bevel edges, create a shell or pull faces out of any part, and all this with extremely natural interactions.

Speaking of natural interactions, all manipulations of the parts in the scene are done with very easily identifiable modifiers. If you have used image editing or presentation software, you will find very familiar interactions for resizing, rotating, moving and aligning elements.  And since we are a 3D application, we have also introduced a really delightful experience for rotating and aligning parts against other parts in space, which we call cruising.

Making holes has never been easier either. The best of all is that we can also keep the whole history, meaning that if you have made a hole in a part using another element, you can always go back to the original elements, move them around, and see the new results without any additional operations.

We also have Smart Content! If you manipulate a part shaped like a keyhole, it’s very likely that you will want the circular part to remain circular, and this will never be the case in direct modeling. This happens because some of our content is defined by rules, which are checked after any action. Being able to create text and modify it on the fly is another result of using Smart Content.

So we have history-based solid modeling that can also be rule based, in a browser? Excellent! So what if you want a mesh, or need to start from a 2D drawing?

123D Design online also supports importing STL and OBJ files. So you can now import models from 123D Catch, 123D Creature, or pretty much any other application that can generate these formats. 

As much as we love 3D modeling, we also acknowledge there is a vast amount of drawings that could be the initial step for editing in 3D. 123D Design online supports SVG import, so bring in any vector artwork and see it come to life as a 3D model.

This video will show you the power of 123D Design online in action while making a simple earbud holder to print on a Makerbot. 

Check it out at and stay tuned for updates!