123D Sculpt App Poster Image

123D Sculpt



Push, pull, and paint iPad clay to make fantastical images.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about shapes -- especially three-dimensional shapes, such as cubes and cylinders -- and how shapes make up different objects in part-whole relationships. As kids try out the art of digital sculpture and painting, they exercise imagination and the mastery of a multitude of tools and options. On 123D Sculpt, kids make new digital creations that they can then share socially via email, YouTube, and more. The app also helps kids learn sculpture vocabulary, like "pinch," "smooth," and "bulge." 123D Sculpt is a great outlet for creative fun, especially for artistically inclined kids.

Ease of play

Even with the initial tutorial, as well as the show "Tooltips" option, this app takes quite a bit of experimenting, time, and patience to begin to master. Younger kids may be frustrated until they understand the idea that to create a 3D image, there are many more sides to be painted, shaped, and maneuvered than in a "flat" image.


Bullet holes are an image option to choose from in the in-app albums to include on the sculptures.

Not applicable
Not applicable

The in-app Sculpt Store provides more base sculpture options to choose from, for $0.99 per set. The publisher's name, Autodesk, is found on main screen and the company's news site is linked to in the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 123D Sculpt is an innovative art app that allows users to change and paint basic sculpture shapes of heads, bodies, airplanes, dogs, basic shapes, and more into endless sculptures. If kids click on the "News" tab, they'll go to a page where there are a number of examples of favorite sculptures of the week chosen by the creator's staff. A few of the images here (bulging red eyes and tattooed, morphed faces) might be scary for some younger kids. Kids can share their creations via social media sites, so parents might want to discuss when this is appropriate. Also, the app offers in-app purchases, so parents not wanting that option should turn off in-app purchases in the iPad's settings.

What's it about?

Kids choose from a variety of basic, gray objects, such as a dog or an airplane, to begin sculpting more unique figures. Using 123D Sculpt's tools, they can do many things, including elongate, twist, bulge, and flatten the image of the object before painting it. The tools let kids use their hands on the screen in ways like pinching and smoothing; it feels like manipulating real clay in some ways. Kids can also import and manipulate photos from their iPad's photo library. There are many options for posting and sharing their creations online.

Is it any good?


123D SCULPT is an amazingly powerful, free app for creating images that can wow, confuse, and challenge perspective. That said, this can be a frustrating app for younger kids who aren't yet able to grasp the 3D concept, or for older kids who need more direction that the initial tutorial and very basic tool-tips. But for the artistically inclined, this app will open new worlds of possibilities for invention and creativity.  Kids can share the sculptures they create (including those that include images taken from their own camera) via YouTube, email, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, and more. So it's a good idea to review rules about what sort of photos may not be appropriate for this sort of tool, and a reminder that people who are in the photos may need to give their permission for their image to be used and morphed if posted publicly.

Families can talk about...

  • Remind kids to ask permission of people who are in photos they manipulate if they want to post them publicly.

  • Show kids real-life objects that illustrate the concept of three-dimensional shapes like cylinders, cones, and cubes.

  • Work with kids to make homemade sculpting clay (you can find recipes online) -- or buy it to work with at home.

App details

Subjects:Arts: painting, sculpture
Language & Reading: vocabulary
Math: shapes
Skills:Tech Skills: digital creation
Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:August 9, 2011
Size:256.00 MB
Publisher:Autodesk Inc.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of 123D Sculpt was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old September 19, 2011


What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012

123d sculpt

their image to be used and morphed if posted publicly.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?