s4Clearly the CAD software giant, Autodesk views 3D printing as a major part of their business plan moving forward. Not only have they integrated 3D printing into several of their software packages, but they’ve also created an entire platform called Spark, as well as manufacturing their own SLA 3D printer. As use of the technology grows, Autodesk wants to be sure that they have a firm foothold on a large part of the market in one way or another, and this is no more apparent in the news which just broke this morning.

Autodesk has teamed with the world’s largest software developer, Microsoft, to streamline the 3D printing experience within their new Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 now has Autodesk’s Spark 3D printing platform integrated within, allowing users to quickly and easily 3D print from within the operating system, making the entire process from design to fabrication a whole lot simpler.

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“There’s a crucial need to align software and 3D printing hardware to support the needs of modern 3D printing for our global community of users and developers,” said Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist for Microsoft. “Teaming up with Autodesk will help fully unlock the capabilities of 3D printing, streamlining the end-to-end process.”

There is no bigger name than Microsoft when it comes to the PC and Laptop software markets, and this announcement certainly will mean a lot for both company’s, who clearly have interest within the realm of 3D design and s2printing. Both Microsoft and Autodesk are part of a new consortium which is working to redefine a 3D printing format known also as 3MF. Working together, rather than competing in this space, seems to be the way to go for each company who both have interests which are somewhat unrelated.

“Autodesk is dedicated to improving the 3D printing industry in a collaborative way, making the technology easier and more accessible to businesses and individuals alike,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Consumer and 3D Printing, Autodesk. “By optimizing the Spark 3D printing platform for Windows 10, we are empowering both Windows users and Microsoft developers to tap the potential of additive manufacturing.”

While the Spark platform is still in its early days, some have called it the “Android for 3D printers,” in that it’s an operating systems of sorts which Autodesk hopes will eventually power the majority of 3D printers in both the desktop and industrial markets in the years to come. It’s an open platform which seeks to eliminate the fragmentation we have seen within the industry, by working together with the community to simplify the entire process from design to preparation, output and fabrication.

Let us know your thoughts on this announcement and what it could mean for Microsoft, Autodesk and the 3D printing space in general. Discuss in the Windows 10 Spark Integration forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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