Windows 10 and Microsoft HoloLens to Be Embedded with Autodesk’s 3D Printing Platform
CAD software maker Autodesk has announced it is working with Microsoft to embed its 3D printing platform in Windows 10, and that it intends to make its 3D modeling software interoperable with Microsoft’s mixed reality environment, Microsoft HoloLens.
Autodesk will firstly embed its Spark 3D printing software platform in Windows 10, which it says will aim to provide Windows users with direct access to optimised and more reliable 3D printing experiences that streamline the additive 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, in an attempt to make 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’re approaching a tipping point with 3D printing, which means there is a huge market opportunity waiting for companies developing applications for Windows 10,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of developer platform for Microsoft. “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.”
As a follow-up to the above initiative, Autodesk plans to bring 3D models from its software into the virtual reality environment of HoloLens. The company says digital models created using software such as Maya or Fusion 360 could then be viewable in the mixed reality environment enabled by HoloLens. For designers and engineers, this may make it possible to digitally view a full scale model during the up front design phase of product development, cutting down on the time and cost required for physical prototypes before fabrication.
In the future, designers and engineers could create 3D models of their ideas with Autodesk software, like Fusion 360, view the models with HoloLens, and prep them for 3D printing on Spark-compatible printers.
“3D printing is incredibly promising, but also still too complex and unreliable. This relationship is a key step in making 3D printing easier and more accessible to businesses and individuals alike,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of consumer and 3D printing at Autodesk.