3D Printing: The Hype vs. the Reality

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May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Autodesk CEO Carl Bass discusses the company's move into hardware and the future of 3D printing with Cory Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Not just getting into making a printer for software companies, which is weird, but also redefining the way that this architecture works in 3-d printing.

One in every definition need to happen?

For a long time i have been fascinated by the problem but frustrated with the realities of 3-d printing and many have been.

We wanted to put together a software platform to move to the next level.

The best analogy i have is android.

Pre-android, there was a whole raft of os' in the world and people learned how to use them.

We wanted to start with that.

What needed to evolve?

The 3-d printing industry has really only grown at a 20% rate for the past 18 years.

People are hearing about it for the first time, seemingly not new, but you are the leader in the software to design stuff.

What was it specifically that we were not seeing?

In order to print something, you need a model.

That is what we do, we make that modeling software.

But there are a lot of hurdles.

Their early days of printers, getting from here to there was hard.

The printers were unreliable.

There were a lot of steps involved and it needed to be simpler.

And we thought they needed to be more innovation amongst printers.

As google has done with the android operating system, now there are more people competing with great hardware devices.

The android operating system is virtually free.

What is your model?

It is free.

Openly licensed, anyone can have it.

But you will make printers too?

Are you getting in this business in a big way?

You have to have sales, distribution, a supplier for the plastics.

I will answer the question yes, we are getting into it, but let's back up.

He grew up in an area where people said you could not do hardware and software, there was this unwritten rule.

Apple is in it in a big way.


Microsoft's xbox has been successful.

Oracle is a hardware company these days.

If you look, one of the very few systems in which hardware and software have been divorced from each other is the intel one.

We are getting into printers where we announced a with implementation, showed a picture of it, and we will bring up the printer later this year.

Talk about what is does for the expansion of your business.

I you have to have sales staff on a global level.

The biggest challenge we are finding, probably due to where we are in the process, it is easy to build one of something, relatively easy.

Five of something.

But how do you scale it up to build hundreds and thousands?

We are going through the process like all the hardware startups that are around the sentences go bay area, learning how to take something from a great idea into a great product.

Autodesk is going through a dramatic transformation, going round selling boxes with cds, dvds, whatever, to subscription software.

Absolutely, the model is changing.

We announced yesterday, our second quarter is really in the transformation and it is going well.

We have a firm belief that all software will be delivered on the cloud in the future, delivered from the cloud to all different kinds of devices, including your mobile device.

We are all in on this business transformation change and so far so good.

You announce the initiative yesterday.

You have been working in that direction through acquisitions or how long?

Related to 3-d printing, really the past 18 months.

We have been building up to this.

It is not like we woke up one day and said let's make an announcement.

Specifically, what kinds of pieces of technology have been the most difficult to acquire?

That has been one of the debates when people look at the x1's and the stratus'. they say they have something special that nobody else can do.

What is unique in terms of what you can do with intellectual property?

When you get a new manufacturing process -- and i believe this will be a huge change for the industry.

Very generally, 3-d printing will be huge going forward.

It will come through the through advances in hardware, software, materials science.

What we are really interested in is, the things you design should be different.

If you can make things differently, you should design them differently.

You should not take an old design and put it in a new material or process.

That is what i thought about the 3-d printer.

Who needs to make a $3000 coffee mug?

What people say about consumer 3-d printing is way overhyped.

When you think about industrial 3-d printing, it is underappreciated.

The economic impact will be way larger in the industrial context than ever in the consumer context.

You think -- is the development of this open architecture also going to be open in the way that lennox is, improved by the community that contributes to it?

We will start announcing people, we have some partners already.

My inbox is full of people interested.

First let's get to a base level and then move on from there.

I think we will be able to move forward.

There is so much more to be done with 3-d printing, people printing with carbon fiber, ceramics, metals.

This will be an exciting field for years to come.

Autodesk right across the street, thank you very much.

Thank you.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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