Autodesk 123D is free CAD software, however, it contains much more tools and features than Tinkercad and is actually closer to Fusion 360 (which I’ve talked about in the Intro Post) than Tinkercad.
Autodesk 123D Software Review
With the rapid movement of manufacturers around the world, CAD software is becoming available to more and more enthusiasts. This CAD-related post will help you get an overview of the software that is best suited for the content and requirements and technology available.
Compare Autodesk 123D Designs
As mentioned in the introduction chapter, 123D Design is a bit closer to Fusion in terms of complexity, functionality, and performance between Tinkercad and Fusion 360. We try to make a rough comparison to make your choice easier. A very fast nonsense model made in 123D Design using a variety of tools.
123D Design has been upgraded from Tinkercad to create more complex models. We use Fusion 360 every day in NC, and when we tried Tinkercad, we felt very limited, especially because there were no editing tools. 123D Design reintroduces various ways to sketch, fillet, chamfer, extrude, modify, and modify objects.
All are welcome. You can also delete certain faces that are personally big fans (arrangements like “anti-chamfer” or “anti fillet”). It also includes pattern creation, a very powerful tool for repeating geometry in a curved or rectangular fashion or along a custom path. Pattern tool used to evenly distribute the seven ellipsoidal cutouts along the cylinder edge
We complained about the lack of orthographic view modes in Tinkercad and luckily we can use them in 123D Design. In addition to this, the view and camera options that Tinkercad doesn’t have make life easier. Appropriate text tools are also included as part of the sketching function, eliminating the need to insert prewritten letters and number objects.
Another improvement over Tinkercad, the Snap tool, allows you to select the face of an object (and, of course, along with the entire object) and snap to the other side. The first object rotates and repositions to be centered on the second side. In addition to this snap tool, there are also the same sorting tools as Tinkercad.
While not as flexible in the 123D design
There are appropriate measurement tools similar to those found in Fusion 360. Working text and measurement tools. What is your love for Comic Sans? The measurement tool shows the shortest length between the two selected edges, the length between the edges, and the length of the edge itself.
Working text and measurement tools. What about love for good ol ‘Comic Sans? The measurement tool shows the shortest length between the two selected edges, the length between the edges, and the length of the edge itself. You should also mention the import/export options. With the export and import of STEP and SAT files, the extended features here are convenient compared to Tinkercad.
123D Design offers more than just Fusion 360 features than the improved Tinkercad software, so if you’re familiar with Fusion (or any other large CAD program), it can be a bit cumbersome to work with. In Tinkercad, I’m all too familiar with the main limitation that all features are a gift from God, but 123D Design has little smaller and more subtle limitations that you’ll find after a while, which can cause some headaches.
Let’s talk about the main differences first. 123D Design does not have a render, sculpt, or CAM module (one of many) and you can find it in Fusion. 123D Design does not have a browser. Excellent overview and management for each instance (components, bodies, sketches, etc.
In Fusion, it is necessary if the assembly consists of several components and is very convenient regardless of the assembly size. There’s nothing close to the “capture history” / parametric modeling capabilities of 123D Design in Fusion. All movement, joint, and animation-related features are excluded from the 123D design.
Five-minute model and render operations in Fusion 360. Fast, easy and effective! Fusion 360 has this configuration feature that allows you to create planes, axes, and points in various configurations, making life easier. 123D can’t make anything.
All sketching tools are even more powerful in Fusion. Fusion’s snap tool is much more flexible and 123D Design doesn’t have some inspection tools. We could continue to use all the missing features in 123D Design compared to Fusion, but after a while it will be boring. So I think it’s time to conclude.
Final words about the Software
There are restrictions on who can use the free version, but Fusion 360 is also available for free. With this in mind, I assume that all three of these alternatives are all free from the recommendations below. In our opinion, Tinkercad is your best choice if you have no previous CAD experience and do not need to create complex models at the same time. Because it’s browser-based, it’s easily accessible and is a great way for kids to learn CAD.
If at least Fusion is available for free, 123D Design is harder to recommend. Fusion’s tools provide much more in every way, and Fusion generally offers so much more. The only example of recommending 123D Design is that if you’re new to CAD, you’ll get used to Tinkercad and start feeling a bit limited.
Then 123D Design can be a great stepping stone because it’s familiar to beginners in larger programs like Fusion 360. In addition, among all the programs we know, purchasing Fusion 360 is the easiest way to get started with CAD in that the free version is available.
It’s really powerful, feature-rich, and regularly brings new features. Hopefully, this post will give you a better idea of which CAD software to try. Please let me know if there are other useful free alternatives besides Sketchup which I’ve outlined in the Intro Post.