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In Spetember of 1995, you couldn’t take photos with a phone and turn them into 3D data. Last week you couldn’t either. This week, you can. Hello future, nice to meet you. Yes, turning photos taken with your phone into a 3D model is now possible. Autodesk 123D Catch has been available for desktop and iPad, but now Autodesk brings the photo-stitching, mesh-generating app to iPhone, along with access to your data from the 123D web app.

123D Catch for iPhone

The 123D catch app has been out for the iPad since last May. This 1.0.2 update adds the iPhone support, better performance and the ability to access, view, share and edit your models on the 123D community site. If you’re not familiar with how 123D Catch works, here’s a quick video of it being used on an iPhone:

123D Catch for iPhone video

I’ve been waiting for this app on the phone for years. There’s a lot of novelty to it and they’re targeting the mainstream market with this, but the ability to snap some photos and download an OBJ of the model, makes the app an amazing asset for capturing data for reference models. I want to say engineering and design will never be the same again. We could do this months ago with camera or iPad–perhaps it’s just that this is now possible with something so common as a phone. Maybe it doesn’t match the resolution of a laser scanner (yet), but photographing a site installation, taking back to the office and provide a digital representation to design, engineering and the shop floor is just… wow.

New 123D Catch Features:

  • Take photos with your iPhone 4/4S, upload to Autodesk Cloud for 3D conversion
  • New capture window and controls to manage focus, exposure, and more
  • Review, delete or retake over/under-exposed photos for better 3D models
  • 123D Catch web app to edit model and/or send for 3D printing

You can download 123D Catch for iPhone/iPod/iPad on iTunes absolutely Free.

Filed under: TECH

  • Jamie

    Anyone think it odd that they keep coming out with great tools for engineers on the iPhone, but any engineer or technician worth their mettle typically uses an Android?

  • ion

    agreed, besides Apple has become a victim of their own arrogance, don’t expect any new innovation out of apple they are nothing more than a rectangle with rounded corners.
    also, none of the mobile OS options really represent engineers, all of the mobile OS options call home to their respective motherships to report all of your valuable what, where, when and how data, very few options to monitor this reporting or opt-out, not paranoid just well informed, with android you can root and use LBE Privacy guard with orbot or the unsupported whispercore.

    For engineers i always recommend the serval project.

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  • Josh M

    It’s because they’re not targeting engineers, at least not making the effort to with most of their apps. ForceEffect is really the only directly engineering related app. The 123D apps, definitely more consumer/hobbyist

  • Aw damn… my mettle! Oh, woe is me, how I hate that I am not worth this dam-ned mettle of mine!

  • Josh M

    I just downloaded ‘Mettle for iPad’, they don’t have it for Android or PC. I quit.

  • Chris H

    Cool… but .obj?

  • Josh M

    Yeah, not the easiest file to import into solid modelers, but can be done.