Review: 123D Catch creates manipulatable 3D models from your photos

Turn your photos onto a 3D model that you can rotate onscreen with this clever photo tool.

123D Catch takes your photos and turns them into a 3D model of an object, person, or building that you can then observe from all sides. It also guides you through the process of taking the photos, helping to ensure the best possible outcome and most complete model. And in addition to making your own model, you can check out all the cool things other users have done, too.

When you first install the app, you'll be able to look at models that other users have created. But to make your own, you'll have to sign up for a free account by entering your e-mail address and choosing a password. When that's done, the app will walk you through the process of taking photos of the object you want to create a model of. There is a handy, onscreen tool that helps you keep track of where you've already taken a picture and where you haven't. After you've taken all your photos, you'll have a chance to review them before sending them off for processing. The processing takes between 20 minutes and an hour, but once it's done, you have a 3D model of the object you were photographing that you can experiment with, yourself, and share with the community of users.

The free account for 123D Catch allows you unlimited cloud storage space for your models, free 3D model downloads, and up to ten downloads a month of premium 3D models. A pro account costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year and offers the additional benefits of one free 3D print per year of one of your models delivered to your home, the ability to use your models for commercial purposes, and more. Whether you're a serious designer or just want to play around with this technology, this app is fun to use and accessible for all experience levels.

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