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Autodesk has been steadily improving their 123D suite, but one missing piece for Mac users has been the flagship 123D CAD app. No longer; the successor to that app, 123D Design, is now out for Mac, PC, and iPad.

I gave the iPad version of 123D a try, and it’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t have all the features of the desktop 123D Design app (such as boolean operations). I was able to knock out a quick chess pawn in it, which you can view in the 123D gallery.

Speaking of the 123D gallery, you’re probably wondering how you get an STL off your iPad. You need to do a couple of things:

  • Make sure your model is good; don’t have any objects floating above other objects (for best results, make sure stacked objects overlap a bit). Otherwise you might not see an STL download option appear on the gallery.
  • Wait a while after you upload it, and revisit the gallery page. You should see an STL download option there. If you don’t see it appear after a while, you might have an imperfect model. Open your project in the desktop 123D Design app, choose Send To -> Print, and see if you get an error. You might have to fiddle with your model to get something printable.

After I downloaded the STL, I loaded it up in Repetier Host, and printed it on my PrintrBot, Jr.:

I might just get hooked on this!

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.


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