Autodesk’s Forge cloud-based 3D initiative gained some new APIs this past week, and they’ll be of specific interest to 3D printing folks.
If you’re not familiar with Forge, it’s Autodesk’s cloud initiative, intended on providing a standard set of tools for 3D programs to interact with. This would include web apps, too.
It’s also important because they have organized a USD$100M fund to accompany Forge, presumably to help launch new ventures intending on using Forge in ingenious ways.
The three new APIs, announced at Forge DevCon 2016, include:
Data Management API: Enables the ability to manage data files across platforms, including Autodesk’s A360 and Fusion 360, as well as their native cloud storage system.
Model Derivative API: Enables the ability to convert the format of a stored 3D model into more 3D print-usable formats such as OBJ or STL. It also enables online viewing of 3D material.
3D Print API: Does what you might expect: slices a 3D model to generate GCODE for specific printer types, and queues it for printing.
When Forge was announced, I felt that it would create the opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop some very interesting web-based services that accompany normal 3D tools, as well as enabling focused 3D communities to emerge.
Now that seems a lot more possible with these particular APIs on the loose.