123D Design is a free, powerful, yet simple 3D creation and editing tool which supports many new 3D printers.
123D Design is 3D design software that can work with PC and Mac computers and with the Apple iPad tablet. In addition there is the possibility of using the application online through the web browser. In all cases, this 3D modeling tool offered by Autodesk is free. It is quite simple to use, thanks to a fairly clear interface that bases almost all operations on mouse movements such as drag and drop or point and click. Basic functions are always visible in the toolbar at the top. An interesting selection of models, shapes and objects is available to the user in the component library. The results view is activated through a cube icon, which can be moved to change the point of view and interact with the project.
The user can modify the curves and edge angles of the models to make them easier to print. You can also fillet and chamfer the edges. Adjusting the dimensions of the object is very simple; just select the object and enter new values, or use the tools to adjust an edge, move, rotate and rescale an object. Designs can be saved, even when using the online version. It also allows you to import designs from other applications, such as AutoCAD, for example. The newest version, introduced in May this year, includes an Autodesk 3D printing utility. It is used to optimize the 3D model and make it ready to be printed. The model can be emptied by the user to save time and materials when printing, and it includes an adaptive thickness function to adjust details that are too small to be printed.
To use 123D Design online, developers recommend working with Google's Chrome web browser for PC computers. Those who have Explorer must previously install a plug-in called Google Chrome Frame in order to run the application on the web. For Apple computers, the browser must be Safari. It does not work with other browsers, nor with Firefox, nor with Opera.