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3D Print Anything! Autodesk Releases Free 3D Scanning App, 123D Catch on Android Devices

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123dcatchlogoThe world is enormous, there are places which have yet to be discovered, and species of plants and animals that have yet to be uncovered. However, for those things that are accessible to human beings, there is now a way to create both virtual 3D models of them, as well as 3D printed replicas. Thanks to the increasing availability of affordable 3D scanners, virtually anything, anywhere can now be 3D scanned, uploaded, and downloaded by anyone with access to a smartphone or tablet.

Earlier today, we reported that Intel has plans to begin shipping all of their tablets with RealSense 3D scanners starting next year. Today, Autodesk has informed 3DPrint.com that they have just made their 123D Catch 3D scanning app available on Android devices.

“The 123D Catch app is now available on Google Play, enabling Android lovers to turn their photos into a realistic 3D model by taking a series of photographs from different angles,” explained Jennifer Gentrup of Autodesk to 3DPrint.com. “With 123D Catch, a free app, you can capture things such as friends, sculptures and buildings, and transform them into interactive 3D models that can be 3D printed or shared with friends through Twitter, Facebook and email.”

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123D Catch has been available on the iPhone for many months now, and many 3D technology enthusiasts have been pondering over the question of when its Android counterpart would also be made available. Well, now is the time.

123dcatchThe release of this app, means that virtually any smartphone out there (Android and iOS), and most tablets, now have the ability to become 3D scanners by simply utilizing the devices’ onboard cameras. This means that we can expect to see even more virtual objects modeled and uploaded to the internet.

Once objects have been scanned using the app, they can then be shared, or even 3D printed. Users can take the 3D virtual model and then use the 123D Catch Web App to prepare it for 3D printing. STL files can be generated, the models can be sliced, and then they can be sent off to your at-home 3D printer or uploaded to websites such as Shapeways to be printed on high quality color printers.

This will undoubtedly open the door to the creation of even more unique 3D printable objects, as well as expand the ever growing library of 3D models available on the internet. No longer are we limited to only sharing photographs and videos on the net. Now we can share 3-dimensional objects that allow us to get a better idea of what things really look like.

123dcatch2It should be interesting to see if museums and universities begin using this app for the virtualization of their artifacts and findings. We hear often about the “Internet of Things”, but 3D scanning, now with the help of Autodesk, is about to create a virtual 3D library of anything imaginable. People, places, monuments, buildings, artifacts, animals, locations…. you name it, they will all eventually become accessible to everyone.

What do you think about the latest Android release of 123D Catch? Have you used it on your smartphone or tablet? Discuss in the 123D Catch forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the video of the iOS version of the app below:

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