Autodesk Gives Away Inventor Fusion For Free As 123D

In my earlier post titled “Autodesk’s Plans For Inventor Fusion” I wrote:

Inventor Fusion will be the application that will be targeted to the “Do It Yourself” market. In my last post I mentioned that Autodesk was interested in going after the large DIY market. These people are not very CAD literate, if at all. So giving then a history based parametric modeling system like Inventor may not be the best way to go about it. Inventor Fusion seems to be the perfect solution for them. But Fusion does not have drawing capabilities. When I asked Buzz about that he smiled and replied, “You’ll see“.

Today Autodesk announced the release of Inventor Fusion free for everyone as an application called 123D targeted to the DIY or maker market. Previously you needed to have a license of AutoCAD or Inventor to get Fusion. Not any more.

Autodesk is partnering with 3D Systems, TechShop and Ponoko to help users get their models built. It appears that this announcement has been timed for the Maker Faire to be held on May 21st and 22nd to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I salute Autodesk for opening the doors of direct modeling to every one. Google gave the AEC space a wonderful and free tool in SketchUp. Autodesk has done the same to the MCAD space with 123D. I hope 123D enjoys the same success of SketchUp and more.

Today is a good day for the CAD software industry. And I’m celebrating. Hic!

Download 123D

  • bcbenton

     Google bought Sketchup, made it free (and added a premium version) and made it popular.  

  • Quest

    CoCreate modeling Personal Edition has also been free for many years. can it open ProE,solidworks and other CAD formats?

  • Deelip Menezes

     123D can read and write SAT and STEP files.

  • Shyamalroy

    Deelip how does this effect Alibre+3D system bundle, and Spaceclaim?

    Is there a capability matrix available that can throw some light? 

  • danstaples

    Deelip. It has an asterisk by the word “Free” that says (in fine print): * Free products and services are subject to the Autodesk, Inc, terms of use that accompany them.

    Have you downloaded and read that terms of service agreement? What are the terms regarding its “freeness”? 

  • d3print

    Good point Dan. 

  • THÁI VŨ-talalevan

    spaceclaim is the best :)

  • Deelip Menezes
  • Deelip Menezes

    Direct modeling is always going to be easier to adopt than a history based parametric modeling system. That fact that it is free makes it even more interesting.

    I haven’t spent a lot of time with 123D to be able to compare it with SpaceClaim. However, I don’t think Autodesk wants to cannibalize the sales of Inventor with 123D. This is targeted toward a different market that has different needs.

  • Adam Frederick

    If I had known this was a rebranded fusion I would probably not have have been as excited by its announcement. I am new to making and Autodesk definitely got my attention BUT 123D is not the workflow tool with a CAD heart that I was hoping for.

    It seems no matter what CAD you use there are some admittedly basic but very repetitive manual operations required to layout a lasercut for a service like Ponoko. What is missing are the CAM software elements that could make preparing work for sending to CAM services easier. I know Autodesk has some kickass sheet metal modules in their products and how I wish they had put in some sheet metal type magic for designing lasercut assemblies and preparing them for print.
    I guess 123Fusion does give the hobbyist a huge amount of power at $0 but the hidden cost is probably lock-in.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Autodesk is a for-profit software company and needs to sell software to make a profit. 123D is a stepping stone to their paid software.

  • Alex Bausk

    Perphaps it allows them to break into your office to check if you use it freely enough.

  • pattaya girls

     I expect 123d to be a great product.

  • danstaples

    The agreement you point to only defines use of the SITE. It then refers to the 123D license agreement as follows –> Without limitation, use of the Autodesk ® 123D™ application software is governed by the Autodesk® 123D™ End User License Agreement. 

     – which is only found once you download the software —  

    So you have downloaded the software –> what does it say?

  • just a comment

    “Google bought Sketchup, made it free “
    Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I thoought it was free before Google bought it.

  • Deelip Menezes

    SketchUp was released in 2000 by @Last Software. Google acquired @Last in 2006 and then released a free version.

  • Deelip Menezes

     Sorry about that.

    The 123D EULA appears to be a copy of their standard EULA complete with subscription terms, activation codes, etc. although they don’t apply in this case. It doesn’t seem to have any restrictions on use.

  • murray

    I’m saying “thanks, Autodesk”.  I enjoyed the Autodesk Labs Fusion download.  I found it natively less powerful than CoCreate PE, but the simpler UI makes it easier to use,  (it DIDN’T want to phone home frequently, unlike CoCreate/Creo PE) and Autodesk doesn’t cripple interchange formats that allow feature recognition.  I’m giving kudos.

  • Tim

    Can’t get it to work on my system due to using directx version 11. I know the problem would be solved using directx version 9 but does anyone know of any issues that would create elsewhere?

  • Guest

    I wonder how this effects the other expensive direct modelers like CoCreate, KeyCreator, etc?

    Will it be their demise? I mean free is a hard price to beat, unless they start paying you to use their software.  This could also have the adverse effect of other softwares advancement.  I mean why continue development for something that has to compete against free?

  • Spock Nn

    And how much does it cost?


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