Autodesk announces more free 3D design software for Fab Labs –

Fab Labs are one of the most wonderful things to have appeared at the start of the 21st century. Fully-equipped spaces where makers, do-it-yourselfers and inventors can come to explore, collaborate and experiment with technology, whether to create a new business or product or to learn a new skill? There are few better examples of the spirit of the DIY and open source maker movement – ​​and democratized manufacturing – than this.

The Autodesk software titan feels the same way. It might be a huge company, but they’ve always stood up for individuals and small businesses, and they’re a fan of the Fab Lab. Last summer, the company offered access to its Tinkercad, 123D Circuits and Fusion 360 software to Fab Labs, and earlier this year it opened its full product design portfolio to Fab Academy program participants.

Today, Autodesk is expanding its freeware offering even further. Any Fab Lab registered with the Fab Foundation can apply for free access to the entire Autodesk Product Design Collection.


“Autodesk and the Fab Lab Network are a perfect fit, so it’s great that we’re teaming up,” said Andrew Gregson, co-founder and director of Fab Lab London. “Easy access to key Autodesk products and technologies with great flexibility in licensing will really benefit the entire Fab Lab community – and the maker movement as a whole.” Autodesk is aptly placing itself at the heart of this movement and helping to foster a global culture of experimentation.

Fab Labs applying for subscription grants will receive 10 subscriptions to some of the best and most comprehensive design software including:

autod-e1367346338409Subscribers will also receive 25 gigabytes of free cloud storage. Good design software tends to be expensive; Inventor Professional, for example, costs well over $200 a month, so it’s a bargain that allows Fab Labs to do what they were created to do: provide free access to professional-grade equipment to anyone who wants use it.

“The maker community in Japan is growing rapidly, and Autodesk has been a major proponent of the movement with its software and services,” said Hiroaki Umezawa, chief director of Fab Lab Shibuya. “Here at Fab Lab Shibuya, we created a project for Maker Faire Tokyo and used Autodesk tools like A360 for design collaboration and Fusion 360 for CNC fabrication. We are seeing Autodesk’s services extend to a broader range of integrated digital manufacturing, so we are delighted to hear of this announcement at Fab 12.”

The Fab 12 conference, currently taking place in Shenzhen, Japan until August 14, is the latest iteration of the annual meeting of Fab Labs, with more than 1,000 currently registered. This is the perfect place for Autodesk to reveal its latest contribution to the world of collaboration and innovation that Fab Labs foster. To apply for a Fab Lab software grant, go here. To learn more, visit the Autodesk 3D Software for Fab Labs forum on