For years, I’ve been fascinated by the promise and frustrated by the reality of 3D printing. Today, Autodesk is announcing two contributions to help make things better. First is an open software platform for 3D printing called Spark, which will make it more reliable yet simpler to print 3D models, and easier to control how that model is actually printed. Second, Autodesk will be introducing our own 3D printer that will serve as a reference implementation for Spark. It will demonstrate the power of the Spark platform and set a new benchmark for the 3D printing user experience. Together these will provide the building blocks that product designers, hardware manufacturers, software developers and materials scientists can use to continue to explore the limits of 3D printing technology.
Spark will be open and freely licensable to hardware manufacturers and others who are interested. Same for our 3D printer –the complete design of the printer will be made publicly available to allow for further development and experimentation. The printer will be able to use a broad range of materials, made by us and by others, and we look forward to lots of exploration into new materials.
The world is just beginning to realize the potential of additive manufacturing and with Spark, we hope make it possible for many more people to incorporate 3D printing into their design and manufacturing process. Over the coming months we’ll be working with hardware manufacturers to integrate the Spark platform with current and future 3D printers. Both Spark and our 3D printer will be available later this year.
3D printing will make it possible for us to create all sorts of things we create today, better, and to create all sorts of new things that we haven’t even imagined yet. If you are interested in working with us, sign up at www.autodesk.com/spark.