Windows 8.1 Cranks Up Support for 3D Printing

By Pete Pachal

The coming Windows 8.1 update, due in the fall, will bring include better support for 3D printers, Microsoft announced Wednesday.

Microsoft vice president Antoine Leblond showed off the new ability at the company's Build 2013 keynote. With a MakerBot 3D printer hooked up to a Windows 8 PC, Leblond showed that printing objects was as easy as selecting the Devices icon from the Windows 8 Charms menu, then the printer.

In Windows 8.1, developers will be able to build 3D printer support into their apps through the new API. For users, that means fewer pieces of software to install, and over time, more apps that will work with 3D printers.

Leblond showed printing an object from a generic 3D rendering app. He also pointed out two printers that were supported, the MakerBot Replicator 2, coming soon to Microsoft Stores, and the 3D systems Cube, which retails for less than $1,300 at Staples, he said.

Will Microsoft's move lead to more platforms supporting 3D printing? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: 3D printing, Apps and Software, Gadgets, Microsoft, Tech, Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Views: 653

Comment by Jack Crossfire on June 30, 2013 at 3:11pm

Won't buy an operating system unless it has an air conditioner icon, specifically in the Charms menu, under printers.


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