Carl Bass - CEO of Autodesk - announced at the Wired Business Conference that they were launching a new product... Wait for it, it's called 123D. OK, so forget about the naming convention... What does it actually do and what does it mean for 3D artists?
Well, in short, it appears to be a modelling tool designed for 'kids of all ages'... A free, downloadable design tool, 123D allows anyone to design 3-D models, and then turn them into real-life products. Well I'm not sure how we can turn them in to real life products, unless Autodesk will provide the manufacturing of all these gadgets free of charge!
But wait a second... This is not just about kids designing products in their spare time and then stepping back and going "Cool - I did that". They have actually thought about this. This is not just a gimmick and goes beyond trying to just 'up-sell' free products to their professional products. Autodesk is teaming up with two companies, Ponoko and Techshop to help everyday ‘makers’ produce products. Ponoko offers a service where people send their designs to the company, and the company will make the parts and send them back to the consumer for assembly.
Techshop operates like a fitness gym for makers. Membership is $125 per month, makers buy their own materials, and then assemble their ideas in the Techshop workshop, in the company of other makers.
Autodesk’s partnership with Ponoko and Techshop will allow people to turn their dreams into reality — literally, Bass said.
“It’s not just for making a digital thing, it’s for making physical representations of things,” Bass said. “Anything you can imagine, you can make.”
I'm not sure when this will be available and if you are not in the US how cost effective it would really be to ship your newly built 'stuff' back to other parts of the world... But we'll all probably at least download it... won't we?
You can register to be notified of when download will be available here.