Autodesk made the announcement in May, but its strategy isn’t what you think it is. Instead of trying to become the leading manufacturer of 3D printers and having to compete with popular brands like Makerbot, Autodesk is seeking to work alongside popular manufacturers, developers, and innovators by bringing easy-to-use, streamlined, open-source 3D printing software to the market. Autodesk expects Spark to change the game forever.
Spark is designed to give developers, makers, manufacturers, and inventors more control over the printing process. The software enhances the maker’s control over how a design is printed, and it give a more accurate look at how the final product will look before printing (a huge benefit for manufacturers that rely on 3D printing for quick, functional prototypes). The software is compatible with a wide range of printing filaments and is expected to make the 3D printing process so streamlined that a novice can do it.
Since the software is open-source, Autodesk is asking developers to join it in recreating how we 3D print. Developers are welcome to customize the software and share their updates with the world. Autodesk is comparing this approach to Google’s rollout of the Android OS. At one point, Google did sell its own mobile hardware, but its real goal was immersion of its software into the market. Today, almost no one uses Google hardware, but Android is the most popular mobile OS in the world. Autodesk is seeking to do the same with Spark — accompanied (of course) by its very own 3D printer.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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