123D design 3d print

Autodesk 123D Design Tutorial | 3D Printing Blog

123D Design Tutorial: How to use Autodesk 123D Design for 3D Printing

by Tatiana | March 7, 2014

Update: Autodesk has discontinued this app. It is no longer available for download.

In this Autodesk 123D Design tutorial you will learn the basics of this great 3D modeling software. You’ll learn how to come up with an idea, how to turn your idea into a 3D model, and how to turn this 3D model into 3D printed reality. Let’s get started with this video tutorial by Ben Heck.

Autodesk 123D Design is one of the most popular 3D modeling programs for beginners and advanced 3D designers. 123D Design is good for creating functional parts and geometric designs like smartphone cases and train models. Creating organic shapes like a human face, a monster, or a tree will be difficult, however. And by the way: 123D Design is free to use – you can simply download it on Autodesk’s official 123D Design website.

Enough background information about 123D Design, now let’s get started with this video tutorial. In this video, Ben Heck will continue his quest to teach beginners more about 3D printing. If you’ve been wanting to know how 3D printing works and how you can create your first 3D model, this could be a perfect tutorial to help you get started. In this video Ben will designs a simple Raspberry Pi case step by step using the Autodesk 123D Design software.

123D Design Video Tutorial

Starting point: create a rough drawing

Before getting started on his computer, Ben draws a rough sketch of what he will be creating later. This sketch helps to keep in mind the overall picture and is a good reference point when getting stuck in the modeling process. No matter if your 3D design a Raspberry Pi case or any other object, a sketch in hand is always a good idea.

A sketch is a good starting point for your 3D model.

Install Autodesk 123D Design

Autodesk 123D Design is now available as a free 3D modeling software. Installing it is easy. Just go to Autodesk’s 123D Design website and download the program. It’s even available as Mac and iPad versions.

Once you start the software, the bird-eyes view might be the best idea for creating your 2D sketch. Take a look at the cube on the top right corner and select the ‘top’ view.

The ‘top’ view gives you a good 2D overview.

Draw a sketch in Autodesk 123D Design

Before creating a real 3D object, Ben draws the basic shape of his object in 2D. Like this, Ben can create a good replica of his original hand-drawn sketch.

By the way: 123D Design also lets you import .SVG images. In this case you can start modeling based on an imported sketch.

Creating an accurate drawing is simple in 123D Design.

Extrude sketch to a solid

Once the drawing in 2D is done, Ben extrudes the two dimensional shapes in order to receive a real 3D design. He also adds additional features and holes (for example for the screws) in this 3D view.

2D to 3D: Ben creates a 3D model.

3D print your design

Autodesk 123D Design lets you export your design as a .STL file. This file is the most common format for 3D printing. If you don’t own a printer yourself or if you need a high quality 3D print from an industrial printer, you can use our online 3D printing service. Simply upload your file here, choose your favorite material, and see the price of your 3D print immediately. We will then take care of printing your design and shipping it to your doorstep.

Our online 3D printing service is a good place to get a high quality print.

Assemble your 3D printed design

Once you received your 3D printed parts, the last step is to assemble them (if necessary). And voila: you just designed your first 3D model and created your first 3D print!

The last step: assembling the pieces.

If you’re new to the world of 3D printing and 3D modeling, check out this blog post about the 5 most common modeling mistakes to avoid. Also learn the basics of the different 3D printing technologies in this blog post. If your design is ready for 3D printing take a look at our 3D printing services on our main website or discover our 3D printing materials here.

123D Design (3D Printing) - De Anza Tech


In this module, students will use AUTODESK 123D DESIGN, to create architectural, artistic, functional and practical designs. Student will learn how to use the software interface tools, understand measurement and scale and perspective. When possible students will transfer design for use with a 3D printer.

AutoDesk 123D Design  Projects

Design a Character Head - Use 123d Design to create a head from all the shape choices. This will give you practice with all the settings to combine and resize shapes, as well as working with color and textures.

*Final design should have multiple colors.
*All shapes should be merged.
*Should be at least 30mm tall.
*Should be a character, head or face

Design a name tag. Using skills you learned previously design any kind of name tag. The objective is to learn you to add text to shapes as well as include a hole for a string or chain.

*Should be at least 50 mm long.
* Thickness should be between 3 mm - 4 mm.
*Name should be done with raised letters.
*Name tag should have a hole approx. 4mm wide.
*Unique edge - rounded, raised edge or other type is desired. (use Fillet tool)

Design a Coin - Imagine you have your own country, design your own coin. First look at examples of a coin to see what designs have in them. Please take notice of special symbols that appear on many coins. Symbols have special meanings. Or, if you are studying an ancient civilization, try to replicate an ancient coin.

Thickness should be .30 cm or 3 mm.

Design a Whistle - After studying about the physics of sound as well as how a flute is able to make sound, design a small toy whistle. Your whistle should be at least approx. 60 mm long with a diameter of at approx. 16 mm. The thickness of the cylinder wall should be no thicker than 2 mm.
(See Physics of Sound Lesson in the Engineering drop down menus above.)

Design a Propeller - Use 123d to design a propeller for your Solar Powered Boat. Before you get started, research types of propeller designs. (See Solar Boat Lesson in Engineering drop down menu above)
Things to Consider: 
What will this propeller be used for?
What environment it will be exposed to.
Is angle important?

Design a Game Piece - Use 123d to design a game piece for a simple game like Snakes and Ladders. Make your piece unique. Your game piece should have curves as well as straight lines. Be artistic but remember that it is for a simple board game. No larger than 3 cm tall and no wider than 1.5 cm at the base.

(After designing your own version of Snakes and Ladders. See digital design/documents/Snakes and Ladders activity.)

Design a Die for your game - Use 123d to design a die for your game. You may want to research different types of dice in case you want to be unique. Or you can create a traditional design. You may want to review any tutorials on the tutorial page. Follow the tutorial button.

Dimensions should be no larger than 2 cm all around.

Design a Purse - Backpack Hangar - Use 123d to design a purse hangar or backpack hook. Follow the tutorials on this project from the tutorial button. Above.

Design a Light Medal - Use 123D and Follow the measurement instructions below. You can put your name on it or the name of our school. You will need to use Sketch Circle tool, Polyline tool and Press/Pull or Extrude tool for thickness. Watch the tutorials on how to use the Polyline tools. You can also use Fillet and Chamfer tools to round edges if you want to. Once done, ask Mr. Reyes for an LED light bulb and a 3 volt battery and tape. Insert battery in round hole and LED in rectangular hole with one leg on either side. Pinch the legs so that one side touches positive on the battery and the other touches negative. The light should light up.

Insect  (coming soon)

On modeling objects for a 3D printer


Mitrofanova, T. V. On modeling objects for a 3D printer / T. V. Mitrofanova, T. N. Kopysheva, S. S. Sorokin. - Text: direct // Education: past, present and future: materials of the II Intern. scientific conf. (Krasnodar, February 2017). - Krasnodar: Novation, 2017. - S. 105-109. — URL: https://moluch.ru/conf/ped/archive/211/11729/ (date of access: 10/11/2022).

3D printing is one of the main educational trends of recent years. Schools and universities in Russia and around the world clearly understand that without the use of 3D printers today it is impossible to provide schoolchildren and students with truly comprehensive training. 3D printing significantly increases the interest in the learning process, as it allows students to feel like real innovators. Having created a model on a computer, the student will be able to hold it in his hands in a few hours - this is a great motivation to create something new. The paper shows an example of creating a 3D model of a whistle in the 123D Design program for subsequent printing on a 3D printer.

Keywords: 3D printing, 123D Design, model, student, 3D modeling

3D printing is a fast growing field and is growing every day as more people get access to 3D printers. 3D printing can be used to create prototypes, create spare parts, print prostheses and medical implants.

In schools, you can also find many benefits of using 3D printing, for example, the introduction of modern technologies in the education process, increasing the motivation for learning among schoolchildren. It is important that schools train students to work with modern manufacturing technologies.

Fundamentals 3D modeling with software such as 123D Design can be applied to elementary and secondary schools, providing a "what you see is what you get" approach to digital modeling. Modeled objects are built on the basis of drawings, drawings, detailed descriptions and other information. With the help of three-dimensional graphics, it is possible to develop a visual three-dimensional image of the desired object: to create both an exact copy of a particular object, and to develop a new object that does not yet exist.

When it comes to modeling 3D files for a printer, the most commonly accepted format is the STL file, which represents a grid of triangles. Once you have created a 3D object, it is sent to the 3D printer. Most 3D printers have software that allows you to convert STL into layers that will be printed by the printer and commands for the 3D printer.

Here is an example of a whistle modeling task for printing on a 3D printer. First you need to create the main form. In the 123D Design program, we draw a sketch (Fig. 1) using the commands of the “Sketch” group: Circle with a diameter of 25 mm and Rectangle with sides of 6 mm and 22 mm, apply the Trim operation to remove lines.

Rice. 1. Whistle Sketch

The resulting sketch using the Extrude operation is extruded by 10 mm. Then apply the Shell command with a shell thickness of 2mm to the top face of the resulting object. In order to create the open end of the whistle, the Shell operation is also applied with a shell thickness of 2 mm. We get half the whistle (Fig. 2).

Rice. 2. Half whistle

Next, you need to create a hole for the whistle. Using the Rectangle command, draw a rectangle with sides of 12 mm and 3 mm (Fig. 3). Apply the Extrude operation to it with an extrusion depth of -8.5 mm.

Rice. 3. Create a rectangle

For the inner edge of the resulting hole, using the context menu, call the Tweak command to create a slice (Fig. 4).

Rice. 4. Applying the Tweak Command

The next step is rounding the edges. Round the edges indicated in Figure 5 with the Fillet command by 3 mm.

Rice. 5. Edge rounding

Round the edges at the open end by 0.5 mm (Fig. 6)

Rice. 6. Rounding the edges of the open end

Let's add a sphere with a radius of 7 mm and a wall thickness of 0.1 mm (Fig. 7). Next move it 0.1mm down, so it will only connect to the rest of the object at a point that's fairly easy to pop with tweezers or other small tools.

Rice. 7. Create a sphere

We got half the whistle ready. Select the workpiece (except for the sphere) and apply the Mirror command from the "Pattern" group (Fig. 8). Got a ready whistle.

Rice. 8. Using the Mirror Command

In order to print it on a 3D printer, you need to save it in stl format (Export -> STL) with excellent print quality (Fine).

We load the file in STL format into the special software of the 3D printer. In our case, Repetier-Host, a software shell for preparing a 3D model for printing. Slicers - programs for "slicing" models, can be used in this program in different ways. Including Cura. To prepare the model for printing, we click "Slicing". Printing time for this model is approximately 28 minutes (Fig. 9).

Rice. 9. The model prepared for printing in the Repetier-Host program

After the printing is completed, we get a finished model, in which it is necessary to break the sphere with tweezers or other tools.

With a printed model, students can identify hidden defects, evaluate, and test functionality.


  1. Autodesk official website [Electronic resource] URL: http://www.123Dapp.com/design.
  2. Let's help beginners: Repetier-Host - first steps. Part 1 [Electronic resource] URL: http://3Dtoday.ru/blogs/3Dtool/help-a-lot-of-beginners-repetierhost-first-steps-part-1/

Basic terms (automatically generated) : STL, edge rounding, command, model, open end, seal, half whistle, command help, tweezer help, shell thickness.


model, student, 3D printing, 3D modeling, Design 123D, 123D Design

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scope and functionality of the software

The process of creating a three-dimensional object or space is called 3D modeling. Special software is used to perform such work. Autodesk 123d design is a program found in freeware which can be used for 3D modeling and 3D printing .


  • 1 Functionality Autodesk 123d Design
  • 2 System Requirements
  • 3 Interface
  • 4 Features Useful video

Features of Autodesk 123d design

Autodesk 123d design , part of the Autodesk free offerings, is a powerful tool for creating and editing 3D objects. The standout feature of the free offer is more than simple interface and fewer tools. In this case, the program can be used for full-fledged three-dimensional modeling.

Attention! This option is not suitable for 3D modeling professionals. The functionality of this package is only related to the creation of geometry that can be exported to other applications.

Key features of the software:

  • Modeling using primitives as a basis. This method is often used by beginners, since using primitive shapes as a basis can significantly speed up the process.
  • A small set of various deformers that allow you to change the shape of a three-dimensional object.
  • A package of thematic sets of various forms was created for the program. However, they can be deformed to obtain unique objects.
  • There are tools that can be used to form links between individual objects in the scene. This greatly simplifies the modeling process.
  • You can import sketches in SVG format . They are placed in all projections as a background.
  • Preparing the project created for 3D printing .

This product is not suitable for professional 3D modeling because many common tools are missing. For example, cannot unwrap or work with shaders , third-party renderers for rendering.

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System Requirements

The software may only be installed if it meets the minimum requirements. Autodesk 123 design is less demanding on the hardware compared to other similar software. The minimum system requirements refer to the type of operating system:

  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10.
  • MacOS.
  • iOS.

The software manufacturer does not specify the hardware requirements. Registration of product is not required .


The interface of the 3D modeling program is quite simple, which can also be associated with little functionality. The working window is made in a classic style.

Its key features include the following:

  • In the central part workspace is three-dimensional grid with labeled cells. It is where object is located, with which work is being carried out. The size of the work area can be different, since the environment is scaled using the appropriate tool.
  • Top , right , and bottom have specific tool sets . They are displayed as a block.
  • Top right have placed logo , by pressing on which you can call additional menu . It is responsible for creating a new file saving the current and importing the project into another program.
  • From isometric mode , you can go to each side separately. To do this, we placed an image of a three-dimensional cube , by clicking on which the most suitable projection is selected.

Help! Most of the tools are used to work with the object. The block, which is located on the right, is responsible for navigating the workspace.

Additional features download send object for 3D printing . To do this, in the lower part of the working window there is a corresponding icon . You can publish your work on the video portal, for which in the left corner of also posted the corresponding key .

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How to use

The free Autodesk 123 d design software is somewhat different from other 3D design products. All tools are divided for beginners and advanced users. Visualization and some other computing operations are carried out on the company's servers, which reduces the load on the computer. Regular updates improve the stability of the program.

The main feature is free distribution. In addition, you need to consider:

  • The product is designed for a different degree of user training , so the toolkit is very extensive.
  • The program can be used to create three-dimensional models of the various types of .
  • developments are constantly being carried out to expand the capabilities of the program, due to which it becomes more effective in application.
  • May be used for educational purposes and for commercial purposes .

The process of creating a three-dimensional model largely depends on the tasks and skills of the user, the methods used. Classic modeling example :

  • Creation of primitives, which are the simplest geometric shapes.
  • Deforming primitives with deformers or polygon modeling
  • Assigning primitive materials for partial rendering.

The program has enough tools to create complex geometry. Therefore, the scope of Autodesk 123 design is extensive.

Caution! Autodesk also releases other programs that can be used to enhance functionality. However, most of the free licenses are only for a month.

Application area Autodesk 123d design

The program can be used by beginners and professionals in various fields. However, it cannot be called a universal tool. This is due to the lack of a large number of common tools. Scope of Autodesk 123 design:

  • Teaching 3D modeling.
  • Creation of exact geometry from drawings or sketches for further project export to other programs.
  • 3D printed created project. The software can recognize different printers to send a virtual object.

Considering the scope of the program, it should be noted lack of functionality responsible for animation or shading . Therefore, the scope of the product is narrow, most often due to a simple and intuitive interface, it is used for 3D printing.

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Advantages of the program

Autodesk 123d design has a lot of advantages. They are as follows:

  • The program is absolutely free . However, it can be used for commercial purposes.
  • Instruments divided into group 9 0017 for beginners and professionals , the working environment is not overloaded with unnecessary functions.
  • Functions are quite enough to create three-dimensional models of varying complexity.
  • There are additional functions, for example, you can upload the screen capture to your own YouTube account .
  • Part of the load during calculations is taken over by servers of the company , which distributes the program.
  • Low requirements to the computer or tablet used.
  • Can 3D print .

These moments largely determine the wide distribution of the program. At the same time, its functionality is constantly expanding, it is possible for to combine of its with another paid product of the company Autodesk .

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9 disadvantages0006 It is difficult to objectively assess the shortcomings of the program, since it copes with all the tasks for which it was created. Therefore, the disadvantages can only be identified when compared with analogues distributed on a paid basis:
  • No tools responsible for animation and shading .
  • Can't get realistic renderings .
  • Tools are not enough for complex projects.
  • Attention! These moments determine the inability to use Autodesk 123d design to create animations, models for games or sculpting, run simulations or install additional plug-ins to extend functionality. Therefore, many professionals prefer other products from Autodesk or other software developers.


    The free Autodesk 123d design program is suitable for beginners and professionals in the field of 3D modeling. When using it, you can solve problems related to the creation of geometry of varying complexity for further 3D printing or further work in other software packages.

    Learn more