May.22, 2013

Microsoft launched its next-generation video game console 'the Xbox One' on May 21st at a special event on their corporate campus in Redmond, Washington.

Photo: Reuters

Don Mattrick, Microsoft's president of interactive entertainment business, said the company has spent the past four years working on the "all-in-one home entertainment system for a new generation." The Xbox One has been redesigned with sleeker lines. It interacts with a television, responds to voice and gesture commands, includes group video calling on Skype, 15 exclusive game titles and original programming content.

Photo: Reuters

But how did Microsoft prototype the design for its new Xbox One? Michael Wolf, founder and chief analyst of NextMarket Insights, revealed that there was a lot of 3D printing involved in the design of new Xbox One.

As 3D printing has jumped into the mainstream over the last few years, companies like Microsoft start also talking about 3D printing. Earlier we learned Microsoft has been using 3D printers to create the prototypes of Microsoft's tablet PC – the Surface. With 3D printing, engineers and designers are able to craft and produce a new model in only a couple of hours.

Microsoft has three Objet 3D printers in its hardware design center, and the company has been using them for creating new concept designs for controllers and consoles for about three years, writes Wolf.

"The company can turn around up to two design cycle iterations in a single day. If someone had a design for, say, a new console controller at 8 AM, the 3D printing center could have a design prototype back by noon. If they got feedback within an hour, they could print a new design by 5 PM."

 

"One Microsoft employee estimated they did about two hundred or so 3D printed design prototypes for their new controller."

3D printing technology is one of the main reasons why design teams today are able to perform countless iterations and refinements to bring their idea to reality. Dozens of controller mockups have been printed out just for making sure the final product is finely tuned.

The new Xbox One is expected to launch 'later this year', but no details on timing or pricing are provided.

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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Hawk wrote at 5/23/2013 5:58:42 PM:

"redesigned with sleeker lines" - wait your calling a grill on the side of a black box sleeker? 3D printers running and designing to come up with nothing bot a black box that jumped out of the 80's? It looks great if you have one of those big entertainment racks that hides in a cabinet, or another room, it fits the other boxy things for that. I mean even Nintendo's Wii U is roundy, and not just a box. But I would like to know what they were really printing there. I mean this looks like a design they came up with in 5 minutes before a meeting. 4 years of salaries came up with this... where do I sign up for a job with them.



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