3D Modelling – a step-by-step guide

3D printing is a growth industry. Christchurch City Libraries and our learning centres provide access to 3D printers for our customers. This page is dedicated to helping you get up and running with a simple free 3D modelling software called 123D. We have created a number of easy to follow step-by-step video tutorials to help get you started.

3D printing 3D printing 2D to 3D Horizons programme - South Learning Centre

Autodesk 123D

Since this page was created, Autodesk has stopped providing and supporting this software. We are still providing it on compatible Christchurch City Libraries public computers. If you would like to work with it on your Windows PC at home, it is still available for PC (the page may take some time to load).

If using this at home, you will need to save your .stl files to your PC and then send it to us for printing.

1. Using the interface

2. Working with primitives

3. Using the "Move/Rotate" widget to move and rotate objects

4. How to access "faces", "edges" and "points" on a primitive object

5. Change the shape of a primitive using "Fillet" and "Chamfer"

6. Using the "Extrude" tool to alter primitive shapes

7. How to use the magnet tool to snap primitives together

Also aligns them centrally which can be handy.

8. Magnet Extrude Fillet

Following on from the magnet tutorial, starting to combine a few techniques.

9. Using combine and shell in 123D Design

Modify primitive shapes into something more exciting.

10. Using the Text tool in 123D Design

11. Sketch tool

Basic introduction to this powerful tool in 123D Design.

12. Taking Sketches further in 123D Design

Create more complex shapes from primitives.

13. Carrying on with Sketches

Information on how to take it a little further.

14. Continuing on with Sketches in 123D

Information on using offset and curves.

15. Revolve a sketch

Using the revolve tool to create interesting and useful shapes using a Sketch in 123D Design.

16. Split using a sketch

Using a sketch to split a solid primitive shape in 123D Design.

17. The Loft tool

The Loft tool is another powerful feature in 123D. This tutorial gives you an insight of capabilities and how to use it.

18. The Sweep tool

Using the Sweep tool will allow you to create shapes along a path in 123D Design.

19. Utilising Inkscape in your 3D work

Video on how you can integrate Inkscape into your work with 123D Design using .svg (scaleable vector graphics) files.

20. Export your model

How to get your 3D model ready to send to a 3D printer.

Find out about getting your model printed at the library.