Autodesk, Microsoft & 3D Printing
“3D printing is incredibly promising, but also still too complex and unreliable,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Consumer and 3D printing, Autodesk.
Autodesk, however, is extremely bullish on the technology, so it is working to make it less complex and more reliable.
So in an effort to make that happen, it has announced that it is embedding its Spark 3D printing platform in Microsoft’s Windows 10. What’s more, it is making Spark APIs free (terms and conditions apply, of course) to the Microsoft developer community.
According to Hanna, “This relationship”—as in Autodesk and Microsoft—“is a key step in making 3D printing easier and more accessible to businesses and individuals alike."
Autodesk and Microsoft are also founding members of the 3D Manufacturing (3MF) Consortium for creating and supporting a standard 3D interchange and printing format.
Said Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist for Microsoft, "We’re approaching a tipping point with 3D printing, which means there is a huge market opportunity waiting for companies developing applications for Windows 10. By providing the 3D printing building blocks found in the Spark platform and optimizing it for Windows 10, Autodesk has empowered our global developer community to confidently enter this new world of additive manufacturing.”
Given that the image that accompanied the announcement appears to be a spark plug, presumably there is some automotive potential in all this.
Although 3D printing has become something that is hip an almost artisanal among the digital cognoscenti and within the maker movement, there is the set that contains 3D printing as a subset—additive manufacturing—which is something that is being pursued in earnest by a number of mass manufacturers in order to achieve parts and products the likes of which would be difficult if not completely impossible to produce with conventional methods.
Topology optimization cuts part development time and costs, material consumption, and product weight. And it works with additive, subtractive, and all other types of manufacturing processes, too.
GM’s head of global manufacturing engineering talks about how a global team put mask production capacity on the floor in a week