Autodesk is making a 3D printer to showcase its new software platform

The 3D printing process frustrates Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, so his company is looking to ease headaches with its new software project. Spark is an open platform effort that looks to create more reliable models while simplifying the steps needed to output them. By doing so, the outfit hopes to "set a new benchmark" for the production method, offering designers, manufacturers and others the tools needed to properly wrangle 3D printers. Not unlike what it has done with 3D animation and architecture, we'd surmise. In the days to come, Bass says Autodesk will work with other hardware makers to implement Spark on current-gen and forthcoming devices. What's more, Autodesk aims to release its own 3D printer later this year -- which the Wall Street Journal reports could be in the $5,000 price range. And just like Spark, the machine's "design" will be made available to the masses as well, hoping to inspire more experimentation amongst its users. The unit is said to also employ "a broad range of materials," but there's no further info on exactly what that list includes. Although, PLA is probably a safe bet.