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AutoDesk is best known for its suite of tools for 3D design, engineering, and entertainment that includes AutoCAD, Maya, and 3Ds Max.  Many of these tools are fairly pricey.  However, their free 123D Series allows you to create some pretty spectacular stuff quickly.  One of the best examples is 123D Make.

123D Make iOS App

This iOS app generates 2D plans for assembling a 3D object out of cardboard.  All you have to do is draw a 2D drawing on the blueprint paper in the app.  The app will revolve your drawing to make a 3D object and generate a prototype of your 3D object using either the radial or stacked cardboard construction technique.  If you are happy with your model, you can then get a PDF of the plans to turn your digital planning into a physical creation.

Below are snapshots of two sample creations:  an alien and a spaceship.  Also, if you would like to take a look at the printable plans that are generated with each project, take a look at the Alien Layout Plans and Spaceship Layout Plans.








123D Make Desktop App

As if the app wasn’t enough, there is also a free desktop app for both PC and Mac that lets you take your 3D creations even further.  So check it out, and make something awesome!