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:

YouTube video

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.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.