Numbers: 123. Source: pling/Shutterstock.com
Numbers: 123. Source: pling/Shutterstock.com

123D Catch is a free software program that allows a user to take multiple photos an object to create a 3D model, which can then be 3D printed.

123D Catch opens to a blank canvas with a request to “Feed this Screen.” To access the menu, touch the icon in the top left corner. The menu give you access to:

Home – View your captured images

My Feed – This is the place to “Follow” other people

My Activity – Access Favorites and community Comments

Popular – Captures from the online community.

Recent – Most recent online captures

Featured – Online Captures that are featured

123D – Explore other 123D apps on iOS

Go Premium – Sign up for a monthly or yearly Premium account

To begin a Capture, tap the large plus sign in the top right hand corner. You will be taken to your camera. A visual guide will assist you in walking around your object and snapping photos at every angle needed to create a 3D cutout. You will snap a total of 2 loops, one 18 photos loop around all sides of the object and another 6 photos loop around the top of the object. 

After you have captured your image you will be prompted to Save. This process may take several minutes. You can leave the app during Save without losing your work.  Once Save has been completed you will have the opportunity to:

Review – View captured image from all sides with options to Keep or Discard

Frame – Position your image as desired to display in the Gallery

Publish – Give your captured image a name, description, add tags and then Save to the Online Gallery

To return to the main menu, tap the large X in the top left corner. 

If you have a FREE Autodesk account, you have unlimited public and private cloud space where you can save your design. A FREE account also gives you non-commercial use of your designs, unlimited 3D model downloads from the gallery, community sharing and the ability to download 10 premium models each month from the content library.

When your Capture is complete, and saved in the Cloud, you are ready to 3D print it. On your computer, sign in to your online account at apps.123dapp.com. In your account, click on “ME” in the top right hand corner and choose Models. Find your Capture in your library and click on the gear in the top left corner.

Note:  The FIRST time you choose this command you will need to download the AutoDesk 123D Print Utility. Follow the detailed instructions to load this app to your computer. These instructions will include shutting down your browser, re-opening your browser, once again going to apps.123dapp.com and entering your account. 

Once you are in your account, go to Models and double-click on your project.  Click on the large blue Edit/Download bar on the right side of the screen.  Go to the bottom of the drop-down menu and choose Download 3D Models.  You will then have the option to download an STL file to your computer.  This file can be printed on your home 3D printer or sent to a 3D printing service company such as WhiteClouds.                                       

Upload your File to WhiteClouds

123D Catch for iPad screenshot