Windows 8.1 to natively support 3D printers

3D printing is gaining more and more mainstream users and today, Microsoft decided to join the trend by offering native support for 3D printers in the public preview version of Windows 8.1. In fact, Microsoft is even selling a 3D printer in a few of its retail stores.

In a post on Microsoft's official blog, Shanen Boettcher, the General Manager Microsoft's Startup Business Group, stated:

Making a 3D object on your PC will be as easy as writing a document in Word and sending it to print. Just as desktop publishing transformed how we write, we think desktop manufacturing will transform how we create.

More details about the 3D printing support for Windows 8.1 can be found on the Windows support site, which includes a driver model for those products, support for Windows Store device apps and extensions, job spooling and queuing support, keywords for modeling device capabilities and API for apps to submit 3D manufacturing jobs to a 3D printer. This support also extends to other 3D manufacturing devices like laser cutters.

Microsoft also announced that it has started selling the MakerBot Replicator 2 at its Palo Alto and San Francisco Microsoft Stores, and will expand to other retail store locations as well.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft's Lawn Mark benchmark tool has a Neowin surprise

Next Story

Netflix runs on HTML5 in Windows 8.1 via IE11

11 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

What an interesting inclusion... I'm not sure what to make of that to be honest. It's very cool, but I don't know how many people are going to be able to use this. But really neat.

What has baffled me most about Microsoft's relationship with 3D printing, is that they haven't either tried to build their own 3D modeling software or acquire someone like AutoCAD. IMO, 3D software is going to be the next big thing and it surprises me that they aren't more involved in it.

Very true! 3D modeling can actually be as easy as MS Paint. I don't know if you've heard of a software called EasyToy (very expensive, 4000 dollars), but there's a demo. It is sketch based, simply draw a shape and a 3D model pops right out. You can mold it like clay by pulling on points. Took me 4 minutes to make a bunny If MS Makes 3D software, I'd LOVE for them to make it just like EasyToy. The real one makes plush dolls by turning the 3D image into patterns, but MS' version could simply print the 3D objects. It's lots'a fun.

Izlude said,
Very true! 3D modeling can actually be as easy as MS Paint. I don't know if you've heard of a software called EasyToy (very expensive, 4000 dollars), but there's a demo. It is sketch based, simply draw a shape and a 3D model pops right out. You can mold it like clay by pulling on points. Took me 4 minutes to make a bunny If MS Makes 3D software, I'd LOVE for them to make it just like EasyToy. The real one makes plush dolls by turning the 3D image into patterns, but MS' version could simply print the 3D objects. It's lots'a fun.
Thanks, will check that out. On the surface, it looks like something like that could easily be done as a cloud service, thus making their seemingly non-involvement that much more baffling.

Enron said,
I want 0-day lego warez, print out your own blocks!
This is bound to happen eventually, but the trouble will be in the material used to make them. LEGO has some kind of patented formula for their material.

Either way, downloadable LEGO sets would rock.

Bad Man Duke said,
This is bound to happen eventually, but the trouble will be in the material used to make them. LEGO has some kind of patented formula for their material.

Isn't Lego made with ABS, which is already a standard 3D printing material?

Pluto is a Planet said,
Damn, you know those screenshots you take of FPS's? Soon you'll be able to print out a sculpture of it at home and put it next to your monitor.

Or instead of buying the collectors edition of a game that comes with a plastic figure/sculpture...or whatever else...you can save the cash and print your own. If you have a 3D printer.