As part of its suite of 3D graphics software, Autodesk (News - Alert) has unwrapped a free 3D printing application called 123D Catch and it is available for download in the App Store. It is tailored for iPad and can be tied directly to a camera, according to Mashable. However, a desktop version of Catch already exits.
The app lets the user capture and create 3D renderings of objects in the real world. Once the object is captured, it can be sent to a 3D-printing service via the iPad, as per this report.
According to Autodesk, a desktop version of 123D Catch has existed for a while, but pairing the app with a portable device equipped with a camera was a natural move. The Mashable reporter Peter Pachal asked Autodesk if iPhone (News - Alert) and Android versions were also in the works, but the company replied that “there are no plans as of yet.”
In this app, all the pictures of an object like a vase are uploaded to Autodesk’s 3D cloud storage called MyCorner, where servers crunch the numbers to create a 3D rendering of the vase. From there, wrote Pachal, “you can send it off to be printed, but if you want to make some tweaks, a sister app called 123D Sculpt can help you with that.”
However, one limitation of the app is that the object being photographed must stay in the same position while it is being photographed, or you will not be able to capture the bottom of it, at least on the first go-around. That means, to get the full picture, the user will have to do a second rendering of the bottom. Then merge the two with another piece of software called MeshMixer.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin