A while ago we posted a short piece wondering what the heck happened to the very popular Netfabb Basic software. Now, there’s an answer. A few actually.
The story was this: Netfabb, a maker of popular 3D printing management software, provided a free version with limited, but powerful capabilities to the community. It was called Netfabb Basic, and was used by a great many people in the industry to perform basic hygiene on 3D models, typically fixing broken files.
But then Netfabb was acquired by Autodesk and when I looked recently I found, or rather didn’t find, a place to download Netfabb Basic.
The story was posted and developed considerable reaction from readers expressing distress.
But, things turned out for the good in the end.
First, sharp-eyed Fabbaloo reader Alan Csizmazia found a blog post by Autodesk / Netfabb explaining this:
Instead of downloading netfabb Basic as a separate product, all customers have to do now is download the free Netfabb trial. For the first 30 days, users will have access to all the features of Netfabb Premium, including advanced packing, support structures and support for metal additive systems. When the trial expires, the software will continue to run with the same functionality that was previously netfabb Basic. For most users, it’s still the same basic Netfabb you know and love and can be used to preview, fix, and analyze STLs and much more.
As Csizmazia says:
So, looks like it's ok after all.
This is entirely true. However, the Autodesk post occurred on October 18th, many days after our October 9th post. Csizmazia added:
Funny enough, they only posted it October 18 so it’s most likely a response to your article! Thanks for prompting them.
Then we received a note from Autodesk’s Lizzie Bennett, explaining this:
We wanted to make sure you (and your readers) knew that the capabilities in Netfabb Basic are alive and well – they are just accessed in a different way.
Now, instead of downloading Netfabb Basic as a separate product, users now download the free Netfabb trial for access to all the features of Netfabb Premium, including advanced packing, support structures and support for metal additive systems. When the 30 day trial expires, the software will continue to run with the same functionality that was previously Netfabb Basic. If customers choose not to renew their subscription, they will still maintain access to all files and have basic printing and prep functionality.
This explains all - and also exposes everyone to the powerful features in the full version of Netfabb as well.
I suspect that Autodesk is simply trying to synchronize Netfabb’s software delivery approach with that of their other products, resulting in this switchover.
Nevertheless, it now appears “Netfabb Basic” is now “Netfabb (expired trial)”. However you want to call it, it works and remains one of the more useful free 3D software programs you can use.