Interest in 3D printers continues to grow and, as time goes on, more 3D printers are being offered to consumers and professionals alike. For software giant Autodesk, it is trying to simplify 3D printing with its open source Spark platform and Ember 3D printer for a market that continues to expand.
By making both software and printer open source, the company is trying to make things easier by eliminating the need for users to purchase proprietary materials from companies. Instead of being forced to buy a specific type of plastic, the open source nature of Ember will allow the printer to utilize materials from a variety of suppliers.
With Spark, Autodesk also hopes that the open software will help optimize printing without trial and error, and increase the range of materials that are used for printing. The company is hoping that app developers and product designers will use the software to help drive innovation and push the limits of 3D printing.
However, Ember is not being developed for the home market. Instead, the 3D printer is geared more towards professional users to create small objects such as medical devices and jewelry. Those who wish to an early version of the printer will need to sign up for it and, if approved, be willing to pay $5,995 for it.
Autodesk expects to begin shipping an early build of the Ember 3D printer in early 2015.