Autodesk

Autodesk is introducing its own 3D printer. Credit: Autodesk.

Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) is entering the 3-D printing market. And to increase its odds of success, the long-time industrial software supplier is borrowing its strategy from Google. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the details in the following video.

Autodesk President and CEO Carl Bass took to the company blog on Thursday  to announce the new Spark 3-D printing platform, which includes not only software, but also a reference hardware design for others to copy or improve upon.

"Over the coming months we'll be working with hardware manufacturers to integrate the Spark platform with current and future 3D printers. Both Spark and our 3D printer will be available later this year," Bass wrote.

Tim says it's a smart strategy that's reminiscent of how Google used the Nexus brand to accelerate development of third-party Android devices. Today, the latest research from Canalys and ABI (via Computerworld) shows that 81% of smartphones shipped in the first quarter were Android-powered.

Autodesk would profit handsomely were Spark to achieve similar scale as a tool for creating industrial 3-D models for printing on any platform. To that end, the company is releasing complete specs for the new printer in hopes it will serve as a reference design for 3D Systems, Stratasys, and others to pursue their own models.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you see Autodesk profiting from 3-D printing? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Autodesk stock at current prices.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google (A and C class) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of 3D Systems, Google (A and C class), and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.