And Where Did Netfabb Basic Go?

By on October 9th, 2016 in Software

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 Screenshot of Netfabb Basic version 7.4.0
Screenshot of Netfabb Basic version 7.4.0

After our story regarding Netfabb’s new release last week, an anonymous reader pointed out that Netfabb’s “Basic” version appears to be missing. 

Netfabb is a very powerful tool for preparing files for 3D printing, including the ability to repair, position, resize, orient and pack files for the most efficient print jobs you could attempt. Of particular interest is its ability to jam in the maximum possible number of models through an automated intelligent reorientation and packing process. 

However, for many years Netfabb also offered “Netfabb Basic” to the 3D print community. It was a stripped down version that provided the ability to operate on a single 3D model file for repairs and very basic editing. 

In spite of its diminished nature, Netfabb Basic was actually quite useful and in fact one of the key tools many users depended on for basic STL file repair. The software, like its full version, was very straightforward to operate. 

Then a year ago Netfabb was acquired by 3D software giant Autodesk

But now Netfabb Basic doesn’t seem to be available on the Netfabb site. Our anonymous submitter explains: 

Autodesk appears to have removed Netfabb Basic, leaving only the time-limited trial version of Netfabb 2017. After the acquisition, Autodesk maintained the Legacy Downloads page which now redirects to the “Legacy Center” that only has old manuals for downloads. There is no mention of the Basic version on the comparison page anymore.

Now Autodesk DOES offer an ability to gain access to the product at low cost, in a way. Again, anonymous explains:

Autodesk does offer generous student accounts that can access paid products free for a couple of years, but I think that it is worth mentioning the removal of Netfabb Basic because it was a simple, non-expiring tool that the community depended on. Similarly, Netfabb Cloud STL repair, which was a simple tool that new users could be pointed to, has also apparently been deleted.

This approach is congruent with Autodesk’s policy on other software in their portfolio: enable student use at low or no cost, and pick up the payments for everyone else. 

So what can you do? There’s a few options, one of which is again explained by anonymous: 

This Google Cache version of the download center page is currently still working (submit the form without entering a serial number), but for how much longer?

It’s also possible Autodesk actually does offer Netfabb Basic – somewhere. They may have “de-emphasized” it on their web pages so well that few can find it. Or it’s truly gone. 

I’d also add that you can still find versions of Netfabb Basic at third party software download archives, such as this one

But it would seem that there would be no new versions of Netfabb Basic forthcoming from Autodesk. I should add that you can certainly consider buying a full version of Netfabb. 

And there are other options for some of its function, such as the very powerful MakePrintable service, which provides excellent 3D file repair function, among other features. 

Via Netfabb

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!