updated 07:30 pm EST, Wed November 9, 2011
123D Make allows laser-cut 3D models
Computer-aided design (CAD) software maker Autodesk is promoting new technology the company has recently acquired by pushing out two new programs -- one of which is currently exclusive to Mac -- that take designs or photographs and help turn them into viable 3D models for either computer use or physical objects. Joining the company's earlier 123D and 123D Sculpt are the new 123D Catch (for Windows) and 123D Make (for OS X), Architosh reports.
Autodesk 123D Make, the Mac-only program, handles the calculations necessary to take 3D models and print out "slices" of them onto flat plates or sheets (of, for example, cardboard), which can then be cut by hand or laser cutter and assembled into physical 3D models (see video, below). The Windows-only 123D Catch is a rebranded version of Autodesk Labs' Photofly program that takes photos of a place or object taken from multiple angles and stitches it together into a photogrammetric 3D model (again, see video).
Both programs will eventually be made cross-platform and even be able to integrate with each other, but are being made available for free now to allow early adopters to provide feedback that will further shape the programs and their underlying technologies. The programs' current platform requirements are indicative of the developers' preferences when they were acquired by Autodesk. [via Architosh]