3D modeling software. Source: Iaroslav Neliubov/Shutterstock.com
3D modeling software. Source: Iaroslav Neliubov/Shutterstock.com

Autodesk is a 3D design software company. Its software is used by engineers, architects, and for the construction and entertainment industries. The company also has a line for home users, including Sketchbook, Homestyler, and Pixlr. Some of the software solutions include AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Maya, Alias, and Navisworks. The company also has an Autodesk Education Community, which offers free software downloads to students and faculty of degree-or-certificate granting institutions. Autodesk software solutions have been used by 17 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects. Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California.

History of Autodesk

The corporation was founded by John Walker, Michael Riddle, and 11 others in 1982. Their most notable Software, AutoCAD, debuted in 1982. Autodesk Media and Entertainment was added in 1999 when Autodesk merged with Discreet Logic and Kinetix. Autodesk Media and Entertainment offers solutions for digital media such as animation and game development. In 2006 and 2008, Autodesk bought Alias and the Softimage brand, respectively.

Autodesk® 3ds Max®

Formally known as 3D Studio Max®, Autodesk® 3ds Max® is a 3D computer graphics software developed and produced by Autodesk® Media and Entertainment for making 3D animations, models, and images. It can be used on the Microsoft Window platform and features a flexible plugin architecture. This software is typically used by video game developers, TV commercial studios and architectural visualization studios and can also be used for 3D printing. This software has multiple features which allow for animating virtual characters, automating repetitive tasks, texturing, and keyframing. You can create characters using custom skeletons and inverse kinematics. Predefined primitives can be used to create models by using boxes, cones, spheres, cylinders, and other shapes.

Using Autodesk® 3ds Max® for 3D Printing

This program can be used to create any number of objects or models for 3D printing. Its versatility allows for users to customize a model or object to the desired outcome, including shading and color. Create your 3D model and then print it off as a 3D object. The printer takes the 3D model blueprint and slices the blueprint into cross sections as a guideline for printing. The printer then creates the object by adding layers of materials until the object is complete.

Autodesk® 3ds Max® Current Systems Requirements for 2014

 System requirements include Windows®8 or Windows 7 64-bit operating systems and at a minimum require a system with the following 64-bit specifications:

  • Windows® 8 or Windows® 7 64-bit Professional operating system
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD multi core processor
  • 4 GB RAM minimum (8 GB recommended)
  • 4.5 GB free disk space for installation
  • 3-button mouse
  • Latest version of Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, Apple® Safari®, or Mozilla® Firefox® web browser
  • Refer to the Recommended Hardware Wizard for a complete list of recommended systems and graphics cards (Autodesk, 2013)