Autodesk announces ReCap: New 3D scanning apps targeting designers, engineers and architects

Autodesk announces ReCap: New 3D scanning apps targeting designers, engineers and architects

After launching a consumer-grade 3D scanning app 123D Catch on mobile devices, Autodesk is now announcing ReCap, a pair of 3D scanning apps targeting designers, engineers and architects.

Debuting alongside Autodesk’s 2014 professional software suites, ReCap Studio is available today, allowing users to “clean, organize, and visualize massive datasets captured from reality.”

ReCap Photo, on the other hand, will be available April 12 and allow users to create “high-resolution textured 3D models” using photos. See a demo video of the app here.

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 11.15.41 AM

Autodesk was quick to note in its announcement that 3D scanning, like 3D printing, isn’t exactly a new process — both technologies have existed in various forms over the past 10 years. The important change here is that these services are gradually becoming accessible and available to the masses. Today’s announcement is part of that shift, according to Autodesk:

ReCap relies on Cloud-based processing to handle the heavy lifting…

[No] other reality capture software provides this kind of visualization quality and scalability to handle extremely large data sets. Think about the implications of being able to capture an entire city, massive buildings or bridges in 3D.

ReCap Photo 2

ReCap supports both laser scanning and digital photos for creating 3D models. Like 123D Catch, ReCap relies on Cloud-based processing to handle the heavy lifting of “reality capture processing.” Given the extreme level of detail which can be captured and modeled in ReCap, it’s unlikely that we’ll see this app land on mobile devices any time soon.

This launch is particularly interesting when you consider Makerbot’s recently announced 3D scanner prototype, which Autodesk is a partner in creating. It’s possible that the software used in Makerbot’s prototype is actually based on ReCap.

ReCap Studio 2

At the moment, we’re unclear as to how much ReCap will cost; the Studio app is apparently free, but the Photo app is not yet priced. The systems which the apps will support have also not been shared. We’ll update this post as new details surface.

Update: Autodesk has revealed that ReCap Studio supports Windows and can be downloaded for free from the Autodesk App Exchange. ReCap Photo, on the other hand, “is cloud based (so is platform independent) and will first be made available as a free preview this quarter. At the conclusion of the preview period, it will require an Autodesk Subscription to access. Cost will depend on the desired quality result (mesh density and texture quality) and the image resolution.”

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