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Windows Build

Microsoft Integrates Autodesk's 3D Printing Platform Spark Into Windows 10 81

An anonymous reader writes: At Microsoft's Build 2015 developer conference today, Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft vice president of developer and platform evangelism, announced new 3D printing features in Windows 10. More specifically, Autodesk Spark is being integrated into Microsoft's latest and greatest operating system. Spark is a platform for building 3D printing software, hardware, materials, and services. Adding it to Windows 10 is a big win for Autodesk.
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Microsoft Integrates Autodesk's 3D Printing Platform Spark Into Windows 10

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  • Might as well (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Autodesk has tied themselves so tightly to Microsoft that they might as well just become another system utility.

    • How long do you think it'll take berfore someone uses a windows vunrability
      to substitute the 3d model with a large penis with the Microsoft Logo on

      I'll just leave this printing overnight, wtf

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And it isn't hardwired into dozens of services or "apps"

  • MORE BLOAT! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by krelvin ( 771644 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @05:34PM (#49589527)

    Just what you need more stuff to go wrong especially if you never plan on using it. A lean OS makes more sense than an over bloated one.

    • Tell that to Apple who have bundled far more stuff with OS X (not so much on the driver front, thanks to building their own hardware) than Microsoft ever has with Windows - even before they were forced to remove parts - and whose users are quite happy that it includes everything and the kitchen sink.

      You may never use iMovie, for example, but there it is, included with your Mac, whether you like it or not.

      For those who much prefer a lean OS, there's always Arch.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        You may never use iMovie, for example, but there it is, included with your Mac, whether you like it or not.

        Not since Mavericks, actually. Since Mavericks, all the iLife and iWork apps are now separate (free to new Mac owners) downloads from the Mac App Store, so if you don't want iMovie, you don't download it. There was a mild amount of downloading when it was discovered pirated versions of iLife would automatically give you a legitimate version (because iLife/iWork was only "free with a new Mac purchase")

        i

        • Ah, you're absolutely right - I stand wholly corrected - I thought they still came with the systems and were offered separately / for updates as well.

    • Re:MORE BLOAT! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @06:05PM (#49589749)

      Yes, because we certainly don't want our PCs to actually do new and interesting things, right? What's "bloat" to you is a "feature" to someone else. And when you have over a billion people using PCs, your OS has to support a lot of different features.

      Do you know what a "lean" OS is? It's an OS that nobody actually uses because it doesn't have the features they want.

      • Do you know what a "lean" OS is? It's an OS that nobody actually uses because it doesn't have the features they want.

        Is a heavily decked out Linux system bloated or lean? While I agree we need more features not less in our system, what ever happened to the Windows of old where you had an option to install additional items such as internet explorer during the install process or later from the control panel.

        Further to that we are now in the world of Windows Update / Windows Apps Store as platforms for distribution of software. Why can "features" not be left on there for users who need the said feature to download, much like

        • Re:MORE BLOAT! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @10:43PM (#49590993)

          Not sure about the desktop side of things, but Microsoft is building a Windows "Nano Server" edition that is about as slim as it can get. The way I understand, their goal is to release this version with only a PowerShell remote interface and the ability to host ASP.NET, but eventually they'll allow the user to layer on additional optional components to build a system with more features.

          I'd love if they did that for the desktop...

        • Wow, troll.

          Who gives illiterates mod-points these days?

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by ianezz ( 31449 )
        A "lean" OS an OS where you easily add/enable just the pieces you want/need, not one that comes with everything and the kitchen sink preinstalled and enabled "just in case somebody needs it". The whole point of an OS is to ease the development, installation and execution of programs in form of libraries and applications, and the only reason behind bundling and preinstalling something that's non-essential to the vast majority of users is simply to promote that application/library/framework/whatever for re
        • Well, this certainly disqualifies Ubuntu as a lean OS.
        • by CxDoo ( 918501 )

          While technically correct, your argument misses the point. Regular user doesn't want to service the computer/OS, they just want to use it. If bloat means less hustle (and usually it does), then bloat it will be.

        • A "lean" OS an OS where you easily add/enable just the pieces you want/need, not one that comes with everything and the kitchen sink preinstalled and enabled "just in case somebody needs it".

          First implies the second. It can hardly get easier than installing drivers for everything under the Sun and letting unused ones lie waiting for their device to be connected.

          The rest of the world is going faster, developing software for uses that you couldn't ever anticipate, on hardware that's not typical, and that's p

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, because we certainly don't want our PCs to actually do new and interesting things, right?

        There is a difference between an operating system and an application.

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        I miss the old WIndows days when you could customize installation from scratch like with v3.x. At least Linux still lets me custom install like Debian.

    • Im not sure you understand how printer drivers work. They arent all loaded simultaneously on every windows PC.

  • Are they really thinking that people are going to be going crazy with the IoT thing and start printing out all sorts of plastic crap in the comfort of their home? Really?

    I could see this being cool for some educational engineering applications, maybe some fringe at-home product development (e.g. the gas door cable fix for the Honda Civic [fueldoorfix.com]), but for 99% of folks it will be another piece of useless crapware.

  • by ChoosyBeggar ( 2969823 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @05:44PM (#49589621)
    Some may grumble about this, but speaking as one who's developed an entire suite of tools for 3D printing, I see this as a very positive step towards streamlining the 3D printing process. I wouldn't call it bloat, as it seems to be an available tool rather than a resource-hungry feature loaded as start-up time.
    • Some may grumble about this, but speaking as one who's developed an entire suite of tools for 3D printing, I see this as a very positive step towards streamlining the 3D printing process. I wouldn't call it bloat, as it seems to be an available tool rather than a resource-hungry feature loaded as start-up time.

      Keep in mind though, this is a version of Windows they plan to offer for download. You still have to transfer it across the internet, and when you multiply it by however many people are going to update... It's a lot of bandwidth for a feature most people are never going to use.

      • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @06:34PM (#49589971)

        Please. The entire OS is still smaller than a single Netflix HD movie. And disk space costs pennies per GIGABYTE. The entire feature will probably add a few dozen megabytes to the OS at *most*, which translates into a couple of extra seconds of downloading and about a tenth of a penny worth of disk space.

        • by aybiss ( 876862 )

          That's right, and if you multiply it by, say 100 million downloads, to keep it simple, then they have wasted about 3 years of time and 10 million dollars worth of disk space for no reason. It's likely to be an order of magnitude or even two higher than that over the lifetime of the product.

          It's like saying that every time Office is slow or buggy then only a few minutes of time or pages of text are lost. If you multiply that by the amount of usage it's had in the last decade or two, the amount of lost produc

          • It does not waste 3 years of time. People do not wait for the very second that an Operating System finishes downloading. It might not actually save even 1 second of human time.

            By the same token, it probably doesn't waste 10 million dollars worth of disk space because much of the disk space would have just gone idle, but let's imagine it does. Does it save 10 million dollars somewhere else globally? This is a stable and consistent platform that 3D printing applications can build off of.

            Furthermore, it's

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you look at the Spark workflow (http://spark.autodesk.com/about) prominent on the list of features is "copyright protection". How exactly this system goes about deciding what you are and are not allowed to print could be quite significant, especially if Microsoft's market share makes it the de facto standard.

      • Re:Standardized DRM? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @10:34PM (#49590951)

        If you look at the Spark workflow (http://spark.autodesk.com/about) prominent on the list of features is "copyright protection". How exactly this system goes about deciding what you are and are not allowed to print could be quite significant, especially if Microsoft's market share makes it the de facto standard.

        Bleh, after looking into this a bit I think it's even worse than that.

        Autodesk is calling this an "open platform", but it's most certainly not "open" in the same way we'd usually talk about more permissive "open source" licenses, such as BSD or Apache. So, it's more of a "free as in beer" sort of open, as far as I can tell. They've got a bunch of cloud-related features that (I think) are intended to facilitate transfer of models from design to manufacturing regions, but it looks like it's all very tightly under Autodesk's control, and they're very clear that they're not giving anyone else any control or licensing rights to the code or platform.

        Check out the Spark Terms of Service. [autodesk.com] Open, my ass. How do you get "open" out of that? They're simply defining open as "anyone can use it if they sign up with us", which is about as "open" as Facebook. I was initially hopeful that this might be a good thing for the 3D printing industry, but all it would do is cede a massive amount of control over the 3D printing process to Autodesk, and I can't see how that's a good thing at all.

        Meh. Now I'm sort of hoping this dies.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is just being provided to mollify users so that they can print their own Start button the next time Microsoft decides to remove it.

    • by robmv ( 855035 )

      Yes, streamlining like WinModems streamlined everything with binary blobs as drivers that kill your device for new OS releases because the manufacturer refuse to update it

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )

      As someone with a 3D printer, I can't understand what this is meant to do?

      I've never had a failure on the software side with 3D printing, from using CAD to design something, then a slicer program to setup how I want my printer to work, and produce the gcode. There's trial and error in this stage, learning how to do it, but it's just part and parcel of the technology, it's early days, and trying to automate this would drastically complicate the machines.

      If this intends to replace gcode, which essentially mak

  • by EmeraldBot ( 3513925 ) on Thursday April 30, 2015 @05:57PM (#49589689)

    While an interesting idea, I don't think this is a very good idea. Most people aren't even going to touch it, and it still requires a printer of some sort and a supply of plastic - all it will do is take up valuable space, and if this is a version of Windows you are supposed to download...

    Making it a free, separate download though, that wouldn't be so bad. Microsoft actually has some really underrated software they offer for free - I think my favorite is Microsoft Mathematics [wikipedia.org]. Definitely worth checking out if you're ever looking for a math suite.

    • I could see a few use in education (anatomy,...) IF they provide the software to make it. Because, building a huge app for a proprietary product of unknown future, looks like a risky challenge. And... well as for the 3D screen, they didn't adapt their own products (like Visio), maybe it's the opportunity to start...
      • I could see a few use in education (anatomy,...)

        Can't wait to see what happens when you let high school students print 3d anatomy parts...

        "What do you mean it can't print a 100 ft penis? Why not?"

    • by Yunzil ( 181064 )

      Valuable space? Hard drive storage is down to the 5 cents/GB range.

      • Valuable space? Hard drive storage is down to the 5 cents/GB range.

        Sorry for being ambiguous, it's not the hard drive space I meant. It's the bandwidth I'm concerned about - the space it takes to download. It'll just add more strain to their servers, and it'll take more time for us to download...

  • I talked with folks from the Microsoft side at the build conference. The Microsoft team was pretty passionate how 3D additive devices can change the future of manufacturing and make communities. They were really focused on the needs of small-med-large manufacturers making high quality slicers and standard drivers wildly available. The person I talked to said that they wanted to help let printer manufacturers focus on the things they innovate and not worry about the software as much that was outside their
    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )

      Some of the larger machine shops are talking about being able to build parts with additive processes that are impossible with current techniques. You can add cooling channels, hollow spaces, internal honeycomb structures that can't be forged or milled. I'm not a machinist but it sounded like a change on the scale of computer controlled CNC

      Nothing described there is outside the ability of current CNC technology in the context of additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing). This is what perplexes me with the announcement. As someone who has a 3D printer, and designs my own trinkets in CAD to make, I can't understand what exactly are they talking about? From what I can piece together, they want to replace the CNC system, which has been around for over 60 years, with a new setup. I sceptical as to why as well.

      To give you a brief rundown of what gc

      • by janoc ( 699997 )

        From what I can piece together, they want to replace the CNC system, which has been around for over 60 years, with a new setup. I sceptical as to why as

        Easy. They cannot control a g-code based platform because there are way too many open alternatives around already. If they build something proprietary that others will have to work with due to their market power, then they get to be a gatekeeper and collect "tax". That's all. Good old "embrace & extend" strategy again.

        Now whether or not this will be successful or whether it even makes sense, I don't know. It could be a major flop with a framework/tool that essentially nobody will use, because 3D printer

  • Yep, we haven't figured out how to allow a user to drag an Explorer window that's looking for something on a network, but we have built directly into our OS support for a third-party program to talk to fourth-party hardware.

    We still haven't figured out a reliable algorithm that can draw things inside specified a rectangular region of the display, but you can run Android apps and have their GUIs splayed out across the display like a grisly sacrifice.

    We still haven't figured out just how much we alienated our

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Windows is not fucked up enough already, obviously.

  • Ok, Microsoft, Bundling, I get it. But... has anyone here actually used Spark?

    What exactly is it, is it the slicing and machine control software? Or is it a CAD program with emphasis on creating designs for 3d printed objects? Or is it both? How does it compare with the open source equivalents normally used with Repraps?

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