Cabe, at the link given in the article, Autodesk's description says Spark is open platform, which isn't at all the same thing as open source that your article states. I find it much easier to believe Autodesk is going open platform than open source. Open platform usually means based on open standards, such as software with a fully documented, published API, or hardware based on a non-proprietary OS and/or chips. Open source means you get access to the source code and can modify it. An example from ancient tech history: open platform is what happened when Cisco lost its proprietary death grip on the router market in the 1990s because others started building routers with Intel chips and the Microsoft OS, vs Cisco's own proprietary ASICs running their proprietary OS.
Autodesk bringing in such a technology is a big step towards the improvement of technology. A 3D printer is one thing that can revolutionize all office activities if offices start using them. This means quality work in offices and good results in return. What the company now should do is make this technology affordable to the average consumer and this definitely will benefit both the consumer and the producer at the same time.
Thanks for reporting this, Cabe. I've been wondering what, if anything, Autodesk was planning in the 3D printing space. To go open source is an interesting and significant move by a major supplier. But how exactly does Spark software give uses more control over the printing process? Does this mean specifying the properties of printed parts, such as material type, stress tolerance, and mechanical properties?
I used autocad for a number of years, however it is time to learn 3D cad. I had started working with a free down load of Design Spark when the news was released that AutoDesk had purchased them. I am plesed to hear that AutoDesk is keeping it available at least for now. I could hope for some standardization with Auto CAD to make life easier.
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