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