Autodesk Will Release An Open Source 3D Printer

Signe Brewster | GIGAOM | May 14, 2014

The move is meant to complement an open source 3D printing software platform that the company also plans to put out later this year.

Autodesk is known for the software that drives much of the creative industry, from animation to architecture. But as of today, Autodesk is also a hardware company, after announcing at MakerCon that it will release a 3D printer later this year.

The printer will create objects by solidifying liquid resin layer by layer, a technology generally known as stereolithography or SLA printing. Most affordable desktop printers make use of a rival technique known as fused deposition modeling, which relies on spools of solid plastic. But SLA printing is becoming more popular due to its superior speed and quality, plus the expiration of patents that previously protected the technology.

Autodesk’s printer will be open source. While the advent of desktop 3D printers was dominated by open source FDM printers, SLA printer buyers and makers have never had a similar wealth of open information to draw from. The result could be a similar boom in the number of startups making affordable SLA printers...