Today at MakerCon Carl Bass, the president and chief executive officer of Autodesk, announced their first venture into open digital fabrication hardware, the yet-to-be-named “Autodesk 3D Printer.” The printer’s design files “will be made publicly available to allow for further development and experimentation.”
In addition, they have also created Spark, an open (but not open source, think Android) 3D printing platform that will “serve as a reference implementation for Spark” and “demonstrate the power of the Spark platform.” Autodesk will be working on resin development both in-house and in collaboration with materials scientists from other companies.
More on Spark from Autodesk:
Spark is an open 3D printing software platform that sits between digital information and 3D printing hardware. It will include the necessary algorithms (for example slicing and supports) to easily convert 3D models into the necessary format for 3D printing. It will also include tools for checking and repair of 3D models, utilities for print preview that are compatible with mobile and desktop operating systems, cloud connectivity, and the ability to publish and share models. Spark will be a highly extensible platform, with SDKs and APIs for software developers, materials engineers and designers who will be able to create software, services, and information on top of the platform.
Autodesk will license the basic aspects of the Spark platform for free to 3D printing manufacturers and software developers. There will be some restrictions and usage guidelines to ensure a consistent user experience.