123D Catch

123D Catch is an Autodesk Application that allows you to use a digital camera, mobile device or iPad to capture images of an object in the real world and transform those images into a 3D printable model.

  1. Open a browser and navigate to http://www.123dapp.com

  2. Sign in or join.

  3. Select Catch from the list on the left

  4. Select Try it online

  5. Select Start a New Project

  6. Add your images.

  7. Wait a bit for the service to process your images.

  8. View the mesh.

  9. Install the 123D Catch plugin on your computer.

Guidelines for capturing

  1. Rotate around your object, capturing a frame every 5-10 degrees. You are trying to get at least 50% overlap between images. Move the camera at regular intervals and in a predictable pattern (left to right and from top to bottom).

  2. If using a camera take 30-50 photographs. If using the iPad you are limited to only 40 frames. You will get a ten frame warning. While it seems counter-intuitive, a point and shoot camera may take the best capture because of the algorithm used.

  3. Decide on a focal length. Once you start capturing frames, avoid zooming in or out. Zooming will distort your capture and will make it impossible for the application to align your set of images. Try to fill the frame with your image.

  4. Avoid reflective surfaces or objects with glare. Mirrored or transparent surfaces will not work either.

  5. Before you start, plan out the order in which you will take the frames. Work consistently from high to low, and from left to right. If you keep your sequence consistent you will be able to to identify errors (if they happen) later.

  6. Consider using some sort of marking system when your subject lacks discernable features. You need four points for registration between any one image and two other images in the collection. Consider using a high contrast tape. Place enough markers so that at least four are always visible from any of the positions you plan to shoot from.

  7. Your subject should be motionless.

  8. You can choose the resolution quality when you upload your captures at 123d catch .