Microsoft have announced that Windows 8.1 will feature native support for 3D printers through an API which can be used by developers to put 3D printing straight from their applications.
This was announced at the Microsoft Build Conference last Wednesday and they promised to make 3D printing as easy as printing images on paper. At the moment each 3D printing application itself has to suport all the different 3D printers, but in future Windows 8.1 will take care of that. Microsoft hope that Windows will be the O/S of choice for 3D printing application developers and consumers alike.
“We want this to be so simple that anyone can set up their own table-top factory,” writes Shanen Boettcher Microsoft’s general manager of the Startup Business Group.
Microsoft also demonstrated a vase being printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 using Windows software. They have been working with several 3D printer manufacturers on this project including Makerbot, 3D Systems, and FormLabs as well as 3D design application companies AutoDesk and Netfabb.
Type A Machines’ Series 1 is the first Open Source 3D printer that will have support for ‘native’ 3D printing with Windows 8.1 and Fabbster, the UP! 3D Printer from PP3D are also initially supported.
At the same conference 3D Systems also demonstrated their Cube 3D printer working with Windows 8.1 which they say gives users the same simple experience as with a 2D printer.
“We’re thrilled that 3D Systems has implemented Windows 8.1 support so customers can easily make 3D objects on their PCs, and we look forward to being inspired by what people create when these amazing new software and hardware experiences come together,” said Shanen Boettcher, General Manager, Startup Business Group, Microsoft.
Microsoft also announced that they intend to sell the MakerBot Replicator 2 printer in their stores.