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CAD Execs Embrace 3D Printing

March 31, 2011

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,CAD/CAM/CAE — Terry Wohlers @ 05:57

At this month’s SPAR International 2011, Brian Mathews, vice president of Autodesk Labs, asked the audience what they might want to print on a 3D printer. He went on to say that he believes 3D printers will go viral and completely alter manufacturing. Similar to sharable MP3 audio files, Mathews envisions the widespread creation of designs for the production of objects using 3D printers.

Others at Autodesk are familiar with 3D printing and where it might go in the future. In fact, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass runs his own 3D printer, a Dimension machine from Stratasys, at his home. Others at the company have acknowledged their excitement about the technology.

Autodesk is not alone. SolidWorks founder Jon Hischtick has stated publicly more than once his views and enthusiasm associated with 3D printing. In his SolidWorks World 2009 keynote, Hirschtick named 3D printing as one of four key trends that will impact the future of CAD.

3D printing and additive manufacturing have been available for more the two decades, but it was not until recent years that the technology has been embraced by top CAD company executives. This support is a good sign for those close to the AM/3D printing industry. Non-technical data, such as 3D models from video games, will become significant for 3D printing in the future, but for now, CAD provides an estimated 99% of the data that drives these systems.

1 Comment

  1. Because of the technology today being accessible and built by industrious and inventive communities springing up as they gain more access to advanced tools, the 3D printing industry will be built. Just as the small visionaries built the Internet, so too will they open the opportunities to large companies to be built. The lowly small visionary pioneers will be used and forgotten – again. I am now into this field using a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic as I was in the 90s building many small, to fail, Internet companies.

    Comment by bstott — May 30, 2011 @ 20:33