May 17, 2014

Autodesk ignites the industry with Spark platform and DLP 3d printer

Here are some big news! Autodesk, the BIGGEST 3d design / CAD / CAM player, is getting into the 3d printing market with some serious technology: Spark software platform and their DLP 3d printer which is first hardware they ever produced.

The printer itself is not so interesting but the Spark platform could have an major impact on the future development since it is a 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.

It is also important to note that both machine and Spark software will be "Open", so not fully "open source" but some sort of open  licencing and access.

Interesting times are ahead...

From the source:
Accelerating the Future of 3D Printing
By Carl Bass, Autodesk President and Chief Executive Officer
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, we 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 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 to 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


Autodesk DLP 3d printer (price will probably be in 5000 USD range)