Autodesk 123D update adds 2D sheets, more 3D primitives

The fifth update in only two months also adds DWG support, tweaks the user interface, and more.

Autodesk has refreshed its free 123D solid modeling tool with a variety of new features that expand its usefulness as a 3D tool for the masses. Topping the list is a new 2D Sheet feature, and the ability to publish 3D models directly to AutoCAD WS or to the DWG format as a 2D drawing.

Autodesk 123 supports creation of 2D sheets for the purpose of creating documentation drawings and printing. In its initial release, capabilities include:

  • Creation of sheets in various standard sizes
  • Ability to create multiple sheets (all appear as separate nodes in the browser)
  • Placing standard views on the sheet (Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front, Back, and Isometric views)
  • Setting various scales per model view
  • Setting graphic appearance per view
  • Editing properties of each view after they have been placed.

Future plans—in other words, things not yet implemented—include the ability to place named views, reorient views on the sheet, and the ability to add text. (See below for how to get around this limitation.)

This is the fifth update to Autodesk 123D since it was released in May of this year. (For product background, see “Autodesk believes the revolution will be printed in 3D.”) The free download is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions for computers running Windows Vista or higher.

The new release of Autodesk 123D can create a drawing sheet from a 3D model. (Source: Autodesk)

The new Publish options allow 123D users to share their work, by publishing directly to the cloud-based AutoCAD WS or into the DWG format, the AutoCAD native file format also read by a wide variety of other graphics programs.

The intended workflow for creating final 2D sheets is to create a 2D Sheet in 123D, then publish it using the Publish function to either AutoCAD WS or to AutoCAD DWG, making it possible to add text, dimensions or otherwise edit the drawing. “Save AS DWG”saves only 3D entities; “Publish to DWG” publishes the 2D layout sheet.

Autodesk 123D now supports creating 2D sheets, useful for printing and creating documentation. (Source: Autodesk)

Other new features

Also in the new release of Autodesk 123D:

More 3D primitives—There are four new interactive 3D primitives in Autodesk 123: Pyramid, Wedge, Cone, and Polyhedron. The Polyhedron is especially useful in that it allows the user to create Platonic, Catalan, Archimedean and Kepler solids.

The new release of Autodesk 123D adds four primitive solids and allows for Boolian Combine. (Source: Autodesk)

File format support—Open and Save IGES; Open STL; Open and Save DXF; mesh data export in STL; Save As VRML for connecting to color 3D printers;

Backgrounds—Several new background settings, known as “Environments” in Autodesk 123D.

Autodesk 123D includes several new choices for backgrounds. (Source: Autodesk)

There are also a wide variety of tweaks to the user interface, to how 123D works with various browsers, and other touch-ups.

More information: