Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Launches Free 3D Printing App for Windows 8

Microsoft Continues 3D Printing Initiative with Free Windows 8 App

In June, Microsoft announced that 3D printing would be supported natively in Windows 8.1, promising that 3D printing will be “just as easy and seamless as printing in 2D.”

Today, Microsoft expanded on their support for 3D printing by launching a Windows 8 app called 3D Builder.

“3D Builder has a catalog of objects you can create from ornaments to toys and more,” said Kristina Libby, Global Consumer PR Lead for Microsoft. “The clean, simple user interface lets you scale, rotate and adjust what you want to print. Add multiple objects to a single print – even stack or push objects into one another to create new ones. Printing 3D objects created in other applications or ones that are downloaded from the Internet is really easy with the 3D Builder app and touch as well.”

Microsoft 3D Printing App 3D Builder Design

Related: Watershed Moment: Windows 8.1 Offers Native Support for 3D Printing

Microsoft has been building partnerships in the 3D printing ecosystem.  According to Libby, 3D Systems, MakerBot and TierTime will be supporting Windows 8.1 in time for the holiday season. And Microsoft retail stores are currently carrying MakerBot 3D printers.

Below are some screenshots of the new app. Go to the Windows Store to get a copy for yourself.

Microsoft 3D Printing App 3D Builder Catalog  Microsoft 3D Printing App 3D Builder Library

Microsoft 3D Printing App 3D Printed Train

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: 3D Printing Conference, Ellen Page, Much More

3D printing news

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from July 8 to July 14:

Monday, July 8

Tuesday, July 9

Wednesday, July 10

Thursday, July 11

Friday, July 12

 Saturday, July 13

Inside 3D Printing Conference Chicago: Day 1 Top Stories

Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Inside 3D Printing Chicago: Day 1

Day 1 of the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago kicked off in high gear and built momentum throughout the day. Below are the top stories from the day.

MakerBot and Stratasys Take Center Stage at the Inside 3D Printing Chicago Keynote

Scott Crump of Stratasys and Bre Pettis of MakerBot kicked off the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago with a vision of the future 3D printing.

3D Printing Sparks Innovations in Art – MGX by Materialise at Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Joris Debo talks about a brave new art world pioneered by Materialise with their Mammoth Stereolithography 3D printing technology.

Microsoft Confirms Plans to Take 3D Printing to the Masses at Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Microsoft wants to create a consumer operating system that is available to everybody that works fluidly with 3D printing.

Top Photos from Inside 3D Printing Chicago Conference Day 1

We are covering the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago this week. Here are some of our top photos from the conference on day 1.


Stay tuned or follow us on Twitter @on3dprinting for more updates from Day 2.

Microsoft Confirms Plans to Take 3D Printing to the Masses at Inside 3D Printing Chicago

Windows 8.1 3D Printing

Software giant seeks to make 3D printing seamless for home use

In late June, during their annual Build Conference, Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 would support 3D printing. This sparked many questions among people as to why Microsoft would get involved and how would they get involved. Jesse McGatha, a 14-year veteran at Microsoft, is one of the key people in charge of leading 3D printing innovation within the software giant.

Today, at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Chicago, Mr. McGatha began his talk by addressing the question: Why would Microsoft be involved in 3D printing? He explained, “when you have over 70% of 3D printing already happening on a Windows operating system, it makes sense that Windows actually supports that.”

McGatha expressed that one of his main goals is to have an application that can talk to a server and can talk to a device in a clean and consistent way. Moreover, Microsoft will focus on the individual home consumer and on how to can make that user experience as simple and as seamless as possible. Microsoft wants to create a “consumer operating system that is available to everybody” that works fluidly with 3D printing.

Essentially, Microsoft is looking to make 3D printing a plug-and-play process. Now that the cost of 3D printers is becoming accessible for individuals to have at their home thanks to innovations from MakerBot, among others, it is important to have a PC operating system that makes it very simple for people to 3D print things.

Jesse McGatha showed the audience a sample user interface for how Windows 8.1 would interact with 3D printers (see gallery below). While the actual product might look different when it comes to market, the idea is to make the printing process very similar to how a user would go about printing a regular Word doc or PowerPoint presentation today. Some things as simple as having print queues and a print spooler are features Microsoft is tackling to make the user experience straightforward.

At the moment, 3D printing can be a tedious process that requires multiple different software packages and several programs to connect the computer to the 3D printers. The complex process can be a deterrent for the mass adoption of 3D printing technology in the household.

After listening to Mr. McGatha, it is obvious why Microsoft would jump into the industry to make it user friendly and help catalyze bringing 3D printers into people’s homes.


Authored by On 3D Printing contributor Rodrigo Garza Zorrilla, technology entrepreneur and advisor.


Watershed Moment: Windows 8.1 Offers Native Support for 3D Printing

Windows 8.1 3D Printing

Windows 8.1 Adds 3D Printing to the OS

In a watershed moment for 3D printing adoption, Microsoft announced native OS support for 3D printing.

Microsoft executive Antoine Leblond demonstrated the new capabilities on stage at Microsoft’s Build conference. Developers will be able to build apps that can export objects to a 3D printer with a single click. Leblond commented that 3D printing will be “just as easy and seamless as printing in 2D.”

Leblond called out two 3D printers that will have native support in Windows 8.1: the MakerBot Replicator 2 and the 3D Systems Cube.

MakerBot Replicator 2

How to learn more about Windows 8.1 and 3D Printing

Microsoft has updated the Windows product development guide to include some documentation about 3D printing.

Windows 8.1 Preview adds support for 3D printing, allowing printers to seamlessly install with plug and play support, to queue jobs for printing, and to be managed by Windows. It also enables Windows Store apps to submit 3D print jobs to these devices.

Digging deeper into the documentation, there is an outline of how to get started. To add 3D printing to your app, you must:

  • Be familiar with C++, 3D manufacturing API, and Windows printing.
  • Have Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Preview for Windows installed.
  • Have an app to which you want to add printing. If you don’t have your own app, you can download the 3D Print Sample app and use that app.
  • Have a 3D-capable printer installed. If you do not have a 3D printer, you can get a sample 3D print driver package from Microsoft’s 3D Printing SDK.