November 15th, 2013, 22:34 PM
Microsoft Releases Free 3D Printing App for Windows 8.1
Microsoft on Friday announced the availability of 3D Builder, the software giant's first 3D printing application making use of a new 3D printing pipeline built into the Windows 8.1 update.
The app is free and currently available in the Windows Store. Microsoft is also selling MakerBot 3D printers through its online stores for a one-stop shopping solution to your 3D printing needs.
Microsoft's 3D Builder includes a library of 3D printable objects, including "decorations, toys, jewelry, and more items that people can customize and adapt in minutes before printing them in 3D," the company said.
"A few months ago, you may have heard that Windows 8.1 makes 3D printing possible because it is native to the operating system, meaning the OS offers plug-and-play support for printers, understands 3D file formats, and connects lots of apps with lots of hardware to deliver a seamless printing experience for customers. Now, with the 3D Builder app, we've made it even easier for people to create and print objects in 3D," Microsoft's Kristina Libby wrote in a blog post.
In July, Microsoft introduced native 3D printing support in the preview edition of Windows 8.1 released in conjunction with the company's Build developer conference. Partners like 3D Systems, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, MakerBot, netfabb, Materialise, Stratasys, Tiertime (PP3DP), and others have already released apps and products utilizing the new 3D printing pipeline in Windows 8.1, but 3D Builder is Redmond's first internal release of end-user software taking advantage to the new OS's capabilities.
Windows 8.1 was officially released last month, making 3D printing for PC users "as easy as printing a Microsoft Word document," according to Microsoft. Users of the new OS can also email their 3D printing files to other Windows 8.1 users, who can then print those files with a simple touch of the button.
Microsoft's 3D Builder and other Windows 8.1 printing apps work in conjunction with both the keyboard-and-mouse and touch interfaces supported by the software platform.