Microsoft, Autodesk Team for HoloLens-Enabled 3D Printing
The companies are working together to boost Windows 10's 3D printing capabilities and extend AutoDesk 3D model viewing to HoloLens.Microsoft and Autodesk have partnered to incorporate the computer-aided design (CAD) software maker's 3D printing software platform into Windows 10, the companies announced during this week's Build conference in San Francisco. Autodesk is embedding Spark 3D in the upcoming operating system, a move the company hopes will help popularize the burgeoning 3D printing market. "3D printing is incredibly promising, but also still too complex and unreliable," said Autodesk's Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of Consumer and 3D Printing, in a statement. "This relationship is a key step in making 3D printing easier and more accessible to businesses and individuals alike." In 2014, 3D printing and additive manufacturing spending reached $3.1 billion, according to analyst group Wohlers Associates. Expecting even more billions of dollars to pour into the market in the coming years, technology companies are rushing into the scene with newer, more affordable 3D printers, rapid prototyping services and even a desktop printer that can print working electronic devices. The Windows 10-Spark 3D integration is expected to streamline the process of turning on-screen models into physical objects for users, while accommodating a variety of printers, software and materials. To spur third-party support, Autodesk will make Spark APIs available to the Microsoft developer community, said the company.
"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," continued Hanna. Additionally, the company is joining Microsoft as a founding member of the 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) Consortium and contributing to the group's efforts to create a 3D interchange and printing format.