Last week while working in the San Francisco Autodesk offices I ran across an interesting research project that is being conducted by a special team of combined operations and a 3D printing team.
In the past Autodesk had physical media for delivery of software like floppy disk, CD-ROM, DVD, and USB media. Then we had the instantly gratifying electronic downloads of the software, but that was electronic and nothing you could place on your shelf unless you waited a week or more to receive the physical shipment from your friendly delivery person.
Many wanted instant software in a physical form and that customer request is at the core of this research.
Now with the more accessibility to 3D printers people can download the STL file of a product DVD and 3D print it and have a physical copy of the product media. A side benefit is that the STL image is smaller in the downloaded file size than the entire electronic download of the product in bits and bytes. From what I know about the technology is that it is similar to the heat pressed DVD which is a master negative mold pressed into polycarbonate not the burned DVD you create from your laptop. So they take a base DVD and add the digital copy of the data as it is used for DVD media masters but instead of pressing them print them on a 3D printer to ABS material. If the research goes well this could be another option for Autodesk customers.
Here is a preview of the STL format DVD media before 3D printing.
Pretty interesting, and might satisfy everyone that have requested instant software delivery as well as those that want the physical media. You could even 3D print a DVD case if you wanted the entire package.
Here is the new Autodesk Product Design Suite 2013 in an STL file as a 30 day trial version. Download ADSK-ProdDesSuite-DVD-DigiDelivery
I will keep everyone posted on the progress of this research, but would you 3D print your DVD?
Happy April Fools Day Everyone! This was only a fun post and not a real research project. –Shaan