Microsoft brings 3D printing option to Windows 8.1

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Build is Microsoft’s annual developer conference and the big news this year is of course the announcement of Windows 8.1, the update that the company from Redmond hopes will address many of the issues that consumers have complained about with the latest version of its OS.

While Windows 8.1 fixes problems it also brings many new features to the Windows platform and one of the most interesting is the new 3D printing API which allows printing directly to a 3D printer from any application coded to do so. Makerbot, the most recognisable name in 3D printing has already announced a new 3D printer driver for Windows 8.1 that offers “plug-n-play and seamless end-to-end printing from a wide variety of applications directly to the MakerBot.”

3D printing is booming, in the last 2 weeks we’ve seen robotic birds made a reality because of 3D printed parts and a potential new battery technology that uses 3D printed batteries to cram more battery into less space. Microsoft estimates that 70% of all 3D printing is done from Windows machines and with the ability to print directly to a 3D printer in Windows 8.1 Microsoft is hoping to retain its apparent dominance of the 3D printing market.

Kris Iverson is one of the software engineers responsible for bringing 3D printing to Windows 8.1 and in the demo below he shows just how easy they’ve made it.

David Greenway

David Greenway

David is a technology enthusiast with an insatiable thirst for information. He tends to get excited over new hardware and will often be the one in the room going "Its got 17 cores, 64GB of RAM and a 5" 4K flexible OLED display, oh it makes phone calls too?" Currently uses: Too many phones. Wants: World peace... and more phones.

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