Autodesk recently shared 3 announcements at #AU2014 regarding 3D printing:
Spark is an open 3D printing software platform that will make it easier for everyone to 3D print. Spark connects digital information to 3D printers in a new and streamlined way. It's an open platform so that everyone can join in and use its building blocks to push the limits of 3D printing. To encourage the broadest possible community to participate, Spark is free to license.
Autodesk created a $100 million Spark Investment Fund to invest in entrepreneurs, startups, and researchers to push the boundaries of 3D printing.
The Autodesk Ember printer is a reference implementation to show how much better a 3D printing experience can be when you have integrated hardware and software.
Microsoft has an expression "eating one's own dog food." It refers to how employees would use the most recent nightly build of the operating system as they worked on the next day's build of the operating system. They were forced to keep everything working well so that they could make progress.
Autodesk CEO, Carl Bass, feels the same way about Autodesk software. He uses it personally. He also wants employees to eat our own dog food. One of my colleagues, Jonathan Knowles, prefers to refer to this as "drinking our own champagne." With this in mind, Carl advised Arthur Harsuvanakit on the creation of holiday gifts for the Autodesk Board and executive staff. Arthur regularly works on special projects for Carl. Carl once said "'If I ask a Product Manager, can our product do this?' he always responds 'Of course it can do that.' I want to know from real world experience what our products can and cannot do. I look to experts who take on special projects that demonstrate the power of what we build and the realistic limitations as well." Arthur is often on the case to see if the proof is in the pudding.
Carl and Arthur collaborated on the design and fabricated a necklace and matching earrings.
- He designed them using Autodesk Fusion 360.
- He printed the design on the brand spanking new Autodesk Ember 3D Printer.
- The final objects were cast in Sterling silver from the Ember's 3D Print.
We all think the pieces are stunning. They have kind of a Star Trek style.
Arthur was originally going to design a traditional box to contain the jewelry. Carl suggested he make it round so it could be fabricated in a single pass. That suggestion saved hours of time.
It's just another day at the office for Arthur, but for the recipients of the jewelry, it's a once in a lifetime treat.
Thanks to Design Engineer for Strategic Innovation, Heather Kerrick, and Application Engineer, Morgan Fabian, for modeling the jewelry. Thanks to Engineer for Strategic Innovation, Evan Atherton, who took the pictures. When Evan first asked Heather and Morgan to “model” jewelry, they expected to fire up Fusion 360. English verbs are so overloaded.
Fabrication is alive in the lab.