Software Bonanza

Autodesk Offering Free Software to Fab Labs Worldwide


Makers rejoice! Autodesk is providing their most popular 3D design software packages free to over 1000 Fab Labs around the world.

Software titan Autodesk is expanding their support for the global maker community in the best way possible. They’re granted full access to the Autodesk Product Design Collection to over a thousand registered Fab Labs around the world. This is kind of a big deal.

The initiative was announced to tie in with the Fab 12 conference currently underway in Shenzhen, China.

What the heck is a Fab Lab? Fab Labs are a global network of workshops that provide easy access and educational resources for digital fabrication tools like 3D printing, 3D modelling, computer numerical control (CNC) milling, laser engraving, and much more.

They first began as an outreach programme from the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, and steadily grew into an international community of designers, makers, educators, and the simply curious. Learn more at the Fab Foundation site.

This stunning move by Autodesk is a continuation of an accessibility drive from the previous summer, where they granted access to popular applications like Tinkercad, 123D Circuits and Fusion 360 to Fab Labs.

Starting today, Fab Labs registered with the Fab Foundation will receive free access by applying for a grant here. An FAQ with grant details is also available upon request from the application page.

Fab Lab Berlin Autodesk

Autodesk + Fab Labs = Very Happy Makers

Fab Labs around the world are expressing excitement about the news. Andrew Gregson, Co-Founder and Director of Fab Lab London, said in a statement.

“Autodesk and the Fab Lab network are a perfect match, so it’s great we’re teaming up. Getting easy access to core Autodesk products and technologies with lots of flexibility around license allocation will be really beneficial for the entire Fab Lab community – and for the maker movement as a whole. Autodesk is wisely putting itself right at the heart of this movement and helping encourage a global culture of experimentation.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Hiroaki Umezawa, Chief Director of Fab Lab Shibuya, said:

“The maker community in Japan is growing rapidly, and Autodesk has been a leading supporter of the movement through its software and services. 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 see that Autodesk’s services are expanding to a broader range of integrated digital manufacturing, so we’re thrilled to learn of this announcement at Fab 12.”

Eligible Fab Labs will receive a grant that includes 10 subscriptions to the Autodesk Product Design Collection for the Fab Lab, which can be used on or off-site by its members.

The subscription includes a full suite of professional-grade 3D design tool for product makers, hobbyists and manufacturers, including Fusion 360, Inventor Professional, AutoCAD, ReCap 360 Pro, 3ds Max, 25 gigabytes of cloud storage and more.

What do you think about this exciting development. Encouraged to visit your nearest Fab Lab? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Autodesk NewsroomFab Lab Autodesk