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123D Sculpt

by Mick 0 Comments

Yet more good (free) stuff from Autodesk, who have released a 3D sculpting and painting app for the iPad called 123D Sculpt.

Users can select from a number of pre-defined shapes as a starting point and use a variety of tools are available that enable the user to 'tweak' the model into the shape that they require.

Currently available as a free download (for a limited time) from the App Store

More details about the App can be found at

and there is a video channel on YouTube at

Autodesk 123D

by Mick 0 Comments

123D is free 3D Modelling Software from Autodesk aimed to provide 3D modelling for everyone.

It is designed for the hobbyist market to enable users to create physical objects from their designs using 3D printing or CNC technology.

Currently available as a Beta release (v 5.0), it can be dowloaded from the Autodesk web-site at

The site also allows you to download 123d models to help you get started with your own designs and provides details of partner companies that you can use to make your physical object.

123D made its first appearance at Maker Faire in San Mateo and here's a highlight video from a number of videos on the 123D channel on YouTube.

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Although the software may appear daunting at first sight, don't be put off as it is easy to use and you will soon be creating your own designs.

There is a full set of tutorials to help you if you get stuck

Including a section on the web-site at

Overall a thumbs-up to Autodesk for one of the better free 3D modelling tools available. It will be interesting to watch and see how this develops.

Autodesk acquire Skymatter (Mudbox 3D)

by Mick 0 Comments

Autodesk has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Skymatter, Inc., the developer of Mudbox 3D modeling software. This acquisition will augment Autodesk’s offering for the film, television and game market segments, while offering additional growth opportunities for other design disciplines. Autodesk anticipates that the transaction will close in the next two months.


Read the Press Release (click here)

Watch a video of Mudbox in action (Click Here) (visualizing concept design in 3D)

Freewheel updated

by Mick 0 Comments

A new (updated) version Project Freewheel is to be made available from August 7 on the Autodesk labs website. (This is not to be confused with the production version of the service at )

A preview of version 1.0.1 can be found at

New features appear to include


a 'share' option for sharing sessions (collaborative sessions)

an 'Impression' option, although not working when I visited, appears to provide some markup functionality,


and a navigation wheel a UI tool that allows users to select options from a floating wheel.

Render Service for DWF files

by Mick 0 Comments

Noted this option when passing through the features of FreeWheel from Autodesk

Rendering Service (
This is a raw rendering service that provides no GUI. The service accepts an URL to a DWF, view parameters, and returns a rendered image file. You can build your own interactive or multi-platform viewer from this service. The 'dwf.aspx' service above uses this service internally to produce the various views.

The DWF-to-image rendering service takes the same parameters as the interactive serivce, along with the following additions:

  • &width = <integer> The width of the image to produce (in pixels).
  • &height = <integer> The height the image to produce (in pixels).
  • &bg = <integer> Color of background in hexadecimal (bg=ff0000 for red or bg=80808080 for semi-transparent gray) or t (bg=t) for the original color in transparent.

For example, the following URL will render an image small enough to fit on most cell phone screens. It will view the center of page 3 of the Hotel5 zoomed in to a factor of 4 and generate a image that is 200×200 pixels:

and here's the picture generated from that html.

(Tip: Click on the image to view a dynamically created image at 1000×1000)



by Mick 0 Comments

Back in September 2006, Autodesk introduced Autodesk Labs. One of the items on display was Project Freewheel ( - both a web-site where you can enter a DWF url for interactive viewing and a web-service that allows you to embed an interactive DWF viewer in your own HTML page.

Now, CADoogle ( uses the Autodesk Freewheel together with Google Search technology to display views of DWF files. Both 2D and 3D dwf data can be displayed, although it wasn't exactly promising when the following error appeared when I was using it this morning.

An error occurred!
Error: SOAP-ENV:Server: Exception from service object: Daily limit of 1000 queries exceeded for key H/ufNfpQFHIXOhEAuGHVIRl59K66koWo

(But I guess it is still only a Beta version 🙂 )

When it was working, I did a search for 'Robot' and obtained 130 hits in a reported 0.03 seconds. There was a slight pause before the first 5 items appeared and here is the first hit. (Hint: Try it out in the frame below.)

Currently , the system will only search on keywords found in the name of the dwf files.

A special version is available for Mobile devices and you can use also use an RSS feed.