Following an initial announcement in May, design and engineering software provider Autodesk has finally unveiled Spark, its new open software platform for 3D printing.
Autodesk demonstrated Spark at its annual mega-design event Autodesk University in Mumbai, India on Friday. The software is designed to democratize 3D printing and make it easier for hardware manufacturers, software developers, materials scientists, product designers, and others to benefit from the technology. It is open and freely licensable to hardware manufacturers.
Spark aims to simplify the entire 3D printing process by making it more reliable and easier to control. According to Autodesk, the software makes it easier to visualize and optimize 3D prints without having to conduct trial runs or risk messing up a print. It connects digital information such as CAD file details and slicing details to 3D printers in a way that enables a more streamlined connectivity and communication between the printer and computer. Autodesk says it also broadens the range of materials that can be used for 3D printing.
“We believe that 3D printing has the potential to disrupt the market and usher in the New Industrial Revolution by empowering users to imagine, design and create,” said Pradeep Nair, Managing Director of Autodesk, India & SAARC. “Spark is the manifestation of our vision to democratize design technology and make it accessible for every person who wants to design and make things.”
A new 3D printer
In addition to the big Spark reveal, Autodesk also previewed a prototype for a new Autodesk 3D printer. The printer was showcased as a reference point for Spark by demonstrating the way the platform can interact with 3D printers. Neither Spark nor the new 3D printer are released to market yet but they should be later this year.
“3D printing has the potential to revolutionise manufacturing and bring powerful new ways to design and cater to businesses around the world,” said Steve Blum, Autodesk Senior Vice President. “Later this year Autodesk will release Spark, an open software platform for 3D printing, and our own Autodesk 3D printer as a reference implementation of the software. We are very excited to show a prototype of the new 3D printer, for the first time on stage, today at AU India, and hope to inspire our customers here in India and around the world to imagine, design and create a better world using this transformative technology.”