updated 04:03 pm EDT, Wed May 14, 2014
Software maker to offer own reference design and hardware
Autodesk -- best known for software such as AutoCAD and 3ds Max -- has announced a new open-source initiative for 3D printing, dubbed Spark. The platform is geared toward making printing simpler and more reliable for all parties involved, including designers, and hardware and software developers. On top of software efforts, Autodesk says it will release its own 3D printer reference design and hardware.
"Spark connects digital information to 3D printers in a new and streamlined way, making it easier to visualize prints and optimize them without trial and error, while also broadening the range of materials that can be used for printing," Autodesk explains. "And because the Spark platform is open, everyone can use its building blocks to further push the limits of 3D printing and drive fresh innovation."
At the moment, Spark is only in its nascent phases. Autodesk plans to formally launch Spark and a first-party printer later in 2014.