[Lab] Free Autodesk Laser Cutter Software

John Nicol john_nicol at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 7 08:14:35 EST 2011

In case you guys missed this, this is probably useful for the laser cutter........

Autodesk to offer new, free apps for 3D 'makers'  http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19267045  “Autodesk…hoping to bring 3-D printing and scanning to the masses…will release two new free 3-D applications. One of them, dubbed 123D Catch, will allow users to create 3-D models of objects using photographs taken from a digital camera or even a camera phone. The other, 123D Make, provides tools to help users create models that can be laser cut from sheets of cawrdboard or other materials…Consumers can now buy a simple 3-D printer for less than $1,000. A startup company called Tech Shop has opened work spaces in San Francisco, San Mateo and San Jose that allows consumers to use professional-grade fabrication tools, including 3-D printers and laser cutters, for a monthly fee. And online services such as Ponoko will print out or laser cut 3-D models for consumers based on the designs consumers upload to them. There are other free 3-D fabrication-related software programs on the market, including Google's (GOOG) SketchUp, and Blender, an open-source application. But Make and Catch represent significant advances in the variety, sophistication and ease of use of such tools available for consumers, 3-D fabrication experts said…Catch takes pictures that users have transferred to their computer from a camera and sends them to Autodesk's servers on the Internet. Those servers analyze the pictures, which can be sent in any order, and put them together to form a 3-D digital image. Within about 20 minutes, Autodesk will alert users via email that they can view the 3-D image. Consumers can use Catch to create duplicates or miniatures of real-world objects…After visiting New York, "you can make your own Statue of Liberty" with Catch, rather than buying one from the gift shop, Bass said. Make, by contrast, takes a 3-D image and allows users to see what it would look like as an actual 3-D image made of layers of flat materials, such as cardboard. Users can vary the thickness of the layers and the angle at which they are sliced…For now, Catch will be available only for Windows-based computers. Make, by contrast, is available only as a Mac OS program. Autodesk plans to offer both applications for both major computing platforms as well as for smartphones such as the iPhone and as a Web-based application…Earlier this year, the company released 123D, another free application that allows users to create or edit 3-D models and send them to a 3-D printer, and 123D Sculpt, an iPad application…”  http://www.123dapp.com/  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/autodesk-boosts-3-d-printing/  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-57318231-52/autodesk-bringing-3d-modeling-to-the-masses/

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