123D Design Web App. source: WhiteClouds
123D Design Web App. source: WhiteClouds

There are three versions of Autodesk’s 123D Design app. The PC or Mac version is powerful yet simple.  It is one of the best free apps for 3D creation with editing tools for the desktop computer. The iPhone and iPad app provides an enjoyable way to design and play with shapes. Finally, for a limited time you can launch the web app on any computer that is connected to the internet. In this article we will focus on the 123D Design web app. 

Go to 123dapp.com and choose to access the Design program online. At this time you can open a new FREE account. Also, you will have the opportunity to download the 123D app plug-in. This plug-in is mandatory if you want to use the Design app. Once this step is complete, you will be greeted with a tutorial that gives essential tips with choices to Start a New Project, six quick-start templates and the opportunity to open a previously saved project from the gallery.

Once you have chosen to begin a new project, start from a template or open a previously saved project, you will be taken to the Design Desktop. The toolbar across the top gives you access to the most common tools such as the Precise Move, Add/Subtract and Rotate tools along with several other tools that allow you to manipulate your design. 

On the right side of the screen you will find the Component Libraries where you will have access to shapes and objects from Primitives to more complicated models such as: Gadget, Jewelry, Light Fixtures and Robots. You can drag and drop from the library or create a component from scratch. 

In the top right-hand corner you will find a question mark that gives you access to several video tutorials, quick tips, and the support forum. 

After working on your design, you can save it to your account that will be available to you on your iDevice or computer. Once you have completed your design, you can send the file to a home 3D printing device or send your file to a commercial 3D printing service.