Step 6: The Future of Autodesk is Lots of Free
I think we’re going to see Autodesk slice off more features and web-ize many of their tools. They’ll have lots of free ways to experiment. How do I know for sure? Here’s something Autodesk just released a few weeks ago.
Autodesk 123D public beta…
123D is a free solid modeling software program based on the same Autodesk technology used by millions of designers and engineers worldwide. Not an engineer? No problem, with Autodesk 123D you can design precise and makeable objects using smart tools that let you start with simple shapes and then edit and then tweak them into more complex shapes. Who doesn’t love free stuff? You have access to tons of free models to help you get your project started, finished, or just to use in exploring ideas. Access free content either directly from the search box in the software, or from the “Get Content” section of the 123D site. The 123D site is a central home for getting things made, and that includes giving you info on different personal fabrication options, and centralized access to our partners who can help you with the tools you need to do the work yourself, or can fabricate your design for you.
Download their free app, make stuff, use a service partner to print it out in 3D. What’s missing is a giant community like Instructables bolted onto this site that will create ways to make things, share tips, write how-tos, share results, create new products from their 3D works, and more.
Autodesk knows how to work with professionals, I think that’s clear. They need to learn how to work with non-profressionals, with new makers, with the giant emerging hobbyist market. This is why they bought Instructables.
I tried to scope out all the communities that Autodesk has for some of their latest tools they’re trying to promote. It’s scattered, confusing, and there’s not tons of activity, certainly not as much as Instructables gets. Here’s a few I think will end up getting attention from the team at Instructables.
123D (above, makes sense to have Instructables-like community around this one).