Microsoft has been promoting the fact that Windows 8.1 includes native support for 3D printers for some time. Now the company is working with Warner Bros. in the UK to help promote their upcoming movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with a new ad campaign that includes a 3D printing promotion.
The Microsoft Advertising blog reports that in-app ads for the movie have already begun to be run inside various Windows 8.1 apps that support the feature. On December 13th, the day that the movie actually opens in theaters in the U.K., those same ads will allow users to download a free 3D printer blueprint of The Key to Erebor.
The key, as fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel know, is the one that is used to open the secret back door to Lonely Mountain, which will be used by the band of dwarves and hobbit Bilbo Baggins to face the dragon Smaug. People who download the blueprint should be able to use it to make their own Key to Erebor in any 3D printer that Windows 8.1 supports.
Warner Bros. is not just using Microsoft to hype up The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Google is already promoting the movie by offering fans a way to explore an interactive map of Middle-Earth via Chrome.