Autodesk has officially stopped development by Meshmixer. Woah!
The 3D design software is extremely popular in the 3D printing community for its ability to analyze and correct defective meshes, add escape holes and create customized tree supports.
However, Meshmixer has been lying dormant for some time, with the last software update happening in 2018.
Meshmixer is beloved by digital dentists far and wide because it’s a fantastic free software with many great features. It was also almost exclusively used for model building until Medit released their far superior model builder software, which is free for anyone that registers and installs the Medit Link software, followed by 3Shape’s Model Maker, which is free. Still, you have to own a TRIOS scanner.
Autodesk - the software developer - has decided to cash in on the popularity by rolling many features into their new product, Fusion 360.
Autodesk had this to say on Meshmixer’s website:
“Fusion 360 now contains many of the great features you've grown to love in Meshmixer, with continual growth and improvements to its capabilities in mesh coming soon.”
“While we have no current plans to retire Meshmixer, please note that the tool is no longer in development and will not be supported by Autodesk moving forward.”
“As such, we encourage you to download a trial of Fusion 360 to continue getting the most out of what Autodesk has to offer in mesh capabilities, as well as much, much more…”
While it’s sad to see great free software get abandoned, much of what everyone loves has already been rolled into Fusion 360.
You can currently get a Fusion 360 subscription for $382 annually or $70 monthly USD. Fusion 360 is available for free personal use for individuals who are doing home-based, non-commercial design, manufacturing, and fabrication projects.
Another thing to consider is that Mesmixer is only available for Windows, and support for operating system updates won’t be available.
Fusion 360, on the other hand, is available for Mac and Windows, and you can be sure future operating systems will be compatible.
Is this the end of Meshmixer for digital dentists globally? I don’t see Fusion 360 becoming as popular in the dental community, especially given the multitude of other free options now available.
Let us know your preferred 3D mesh editing tool in the comments below!