Microsoft, Autodesk to make 3D printing accessible

Autodesk has partnered with Microsoft to install its 3D printing platform in Windows 10. It also intends to make its 3D modelling software interoperable with Microsoft’s mixed reality environment, Microsoft HoloLens.

Firstly, Autodesk will embed its Spark 3D printing software platform in Windows 10. This effort will provide Windows users with direct access to optimized and 3D printing experiences that streamline the manufacturing process for a variety of software, material, and printer choices. Autodesk will make the Spark APIs available for free to the Microsoft developer community to build upon, extending the reach and growth of the 3D printing industry. Further, to their combined goal of making 3D printing more accessible, Autodesk will also join Microsoft as a founding member of a 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) Consortium to create and support a standard 3D interchange and printing format.

“We are 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,” said Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate vice-president of Developer Platform and Evangelism and Chief Evangelist, Microsoft.

The second initiative is aimed at bringing 3D models from Autodesk software into the virtual reality environment of Microsoft HoloLens. Digital models using software such as Autodesk Maya or Fusion 360 could then be viewable in the mixed reality environment enabled by HoloLens.

“This relationship is a key step in making 3D printing easier and more accessible to businesses and individuals alike. Together with Microsoft and its global community of developers, we have an opportunity to tackle the complexities of 3D design and printing head-on to improve how things are made and even change the very nature of what we create,” said Samir Hanna, vice- president and general manager, Consumer and 3D Printing, Autodesk.

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