Autodesk are making a serious play for the consumer world, with their new 123D range of applications. Some time ago they came up with the 123D Cad and Make software aimed at people who wish to make models and get them produced via 3D printing and laser cutting shops. Though it held much appeal for students and hobbyists, its real target is small businesses.
This time though, Autodesk have come up with some tools which schools, students and hobbyists are going to love. What they have launched is called 123D Sculpt for the iPad. It is a great free 3D sculpting application aimed at anyone who want to learn and play with 3D. Fantastic little tool... for those lucky enough to have an iPad! I can see a lot of very young people getting suck in to this one, and making their first forays into 3D with it.
Autodesk have also recently taken Photofly V2 and released it as 123D Catch. A bit of a weird name, but fantastic software! I am hoping they release a version of this for professionals that does not require the cloud...
All in all though the range of software is a great way to get the Autodesk brand even further into the general public. I love the fact that people in the US are utilising the online laser cutting and 3D printing technologies to produce parts for broken machines and using it for their own ideas. I think the UK is a little behind the curve on this but I'm sure we will catch up fast.