Grunt, squeeze and pop that 3D printed champagne cork. Yesterday, at Autodesk University, the software company that serves manufacturing, architectural and the media and entertainment industries pushed further into additive manufacturing with three announcements. Autodesk has formally launched the Spark Platform, along with a Printer, a Fund and a strategic partnership with 3D print industry leaders Ultimaker, ExOne, 3d Industries, HP, Nervous System and Emerging Objects for a blitz attack plan to make 3D printing more accessible for consumers, designers, engineers and makers of all kind within their respective industry.

What’s Will Push 3D Printing Ahead?

Whether an active 3D print creator or interested we are sure you have read about or dealt with issues like inconsistent filament feed, limited or expensive materials and unreliable outcome with prints. It’s these issues comes a solution that hopes to bridge the gap between the “physical and digital worlds.”

Spark Open Source 3D Printing Platform

According to Scott Shepherd’s highlights of the Day 1 keynote, Autodesk will introduce an “open 3D printing software platform” to make 3D printing a breeze. Called Spark, the platform connects digital information to 3D printers in a more streamlined fashion. We have yet to see it, but since the platform is open and free to license, contributions can be made to push the boundaries of what’s currently possible. How it actually differs from other open-source options like ReplicatorG, Repetier-Host or Slic3r, we’re not sure, but improving on any of those wouldn’t take much.

Spark Investment Fund

Who needs (part of) $100 Million in funding? With Spark, comes the $100 million Spark Investment Fund. It’s an initiative to invest in entrepreneurs, startups, and researchers as an incentive to push the boundaries of 3D printing. If you’ve had an idea, you can submit your application here.

Ember 3D Printer

What was announced in May is here. The Ember 3D Printer – a fine example to showcase what 3D printing is all about when you integrate open hardware and open software. (Because that hasn’t happened before, right?) Here, we have an open hardware platform which Autodesk is using to encourage users to build (or hack) their own printer. In any case, the early build Ember 3D printer is “scheduled to begin shipping in early 2015” with a cost of $5995 USD.

If you’re interested in joining Autodesk into their 3D Printing adventure, you can become an Ember Explorer by signing up for the Ember Explorer Program. As they mention on their website, “Qualified approved Explorers will be able to purchase the Ember Explorer package, which includes: the early build SLA DLP-based Ember printer, Ember Explorer supplies, Ember Explorer finishing kit, exclusive access to dedicated technical support, information and events, and the option to provide direct feedback and impact the final production of the Ember printer.”

Rendered shots of the Ember 3D Printer below.