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Autodesk 123D MCAD and PCB Models

Autodesk just released the beta version of the 123D 3D mechanical CAD program.  It’s meant for hobbyists, but Autodesk surprised me by including both STEP file import and export.  (Free or low cost commercial CAD programs almost always don’t include free STEP file export).

123D is the standalone version of Inventor Fusion, so it is a direct modeler (not a history based like SolidWorks or Alibre).  So put together free, easier to use (direct modeling), and STEP file import/export, and it should work great for creating 3D PCB models.  There could be some problems, such as assembly limitations (such as a low maximum number of parts), or the EULA (so far the 123D End User License Agreement appears to be the standard Autodesk one, with no mentions of restrictions on commercial use).

I haven’t been able to check out 123D’s PCB prowess yet because I haven’t been able to get it to start successfully.  I’ll give it another try in a while.

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