At Inside 3D Printing in Santa Clara two years back, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Autodesk Jeff Kowalski became known for saying, “3D printing kind of sucks right now.” The software developer has since been attempting to solve that problem in a number of certainly amazing ways. It initially began with the release of Autodesk’s Spark platform and the Ember 3D printing device, that is created to tackle such issues as speed, reliability, and resolution in PC 3D printing. The latest development is Project Escher, that appears to answer only of every sucky bit of 3D printing you can imagine.
Project Escher is a certainly huge machine, figuratively and literally. Made up of an assembly line of toolheads, the system is created to work on sizeable objects and swift speeds. It does this through a one-of-a-kind software created by Autodesk to allow every toolhead to work on various parts of an object at the same time. This system of “collaborative fabrication”, as Autodesk 3D Printing Research Scientist Andreas Bastian calls it, sees one desktop, dubbed “The Conductor”, orchestrate a symphony of motion on the workbed through the firm’s Conductive Player software architecture.
Whilst Project Escher has so far been utilized to demonstrate the collaborative 3D printing of a sizeable-scale object, it’s significant to note that it is not limited to additive making. Autodesk Hardware Lead Cory Bloome explains that the toolheads can be switched out for other fabrication systemes, like hot staking and pick-and-place innovation. In other words, Project Escher is really a completely factory in a box. And, yet the existing setup is may already really huge, it’s effortless to imagine the system being scaled up to an industrial scale, with a few robot arms performing the extrusion system, while others weld and pick-and-place components.
For this reason, the software behind Project Escher is really the key. Autodesk can not be releasing a new 3D printing device, but Bloome has said that he may see the software being easily implemented in FDM innovation. Paste Magazine reports that Bastian told an audience at their San Francisco offices that the company is working on partnerships for its Escher software, with hopes of seeing a 3D printing assembly line installed in a making setting by 2017 or 2018.