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Spark will supposedly make 3D printing more simple and reliable, as well as giving the user more control over how the model comes to be printed. The printer will be an accompanying reference product for the platform to run on, setting a benchmark for how the process of 3D printing should be developed.The open nature of the platform is undeniably one of the key interesting things about it. Some commentators have already compared Spark to Android, which took niche technology and made it accessible to the masses. Whether Spark will be able to replicate this kind of success in the world of 3D printing remains to be seen, but Autodesk's certainly willing to give it a go. Not only will the software be licensable to hardware manufacturers, but the design of the printer will be made available to any who should want it, in the hope that it will encourage "further development and experimentation.""By providing a common platform for 3D printers, it will enable 3D printer manufacturers to focus on their core competency of designing and producing 3D printers. In addition, as Spark has the potential to be integrated with multiple operating systems and design tools, we hope it will increase the ability for millions more people to create 3D prints from their 3D designs," an Autodesk spokesperson told Wired.co.uk.At present 3D printers aren't always terribly reliable as software formats must be interpreted by the printer and then produced—making it expensive and time-consuming if failure does occur. Spark, on the other hand, has been designed so that it "shortens that path between digital content and hardware" by facilitating better information exchange between the two. Automated fixes and suggestions to optimize the design will be offered before the actual printing process begins. "In addition, the APIs that will be included with Spark will enable a broad group—from materials science companies to crowd-funded startups—to access and innovate the 3D printing pipeline," said the spokesperson.