Sep 17, 2014 | By Alec

A little bit less than a year ago, we first reported on Microsoft's intentions to incorporate 3D printing software into their Windows 8.1. Their '3D Builder' application was a relatively simple, but quite accessible piece of software that allowed anyone to 'plug-and-print'. You just have to connect the printer of your choosing to windows, and the app would easily print simple objects for you. It is especially convenient for beginners, but it still required users to, obviously, own their own 3D printer.

All that is about to change, however, as Microsoft announced on Tuesday that its '3D Builder' app will now also include a cloud function. Users who don't have a 3D printer, or don't have the particular printer they need, can now simply create their designs in Microsoft's app, which will then be printed remotely and delivered to their homes.

These new services have been made available through the incorporation of Cubify into this enhanced and updated '3D Builder' application. Cubify is a cloud-based 3D printing service that has been developed by 3D Systems, which was already offering remote printing and delivery services to its users. It looks like Windows will now be working through them with their updated 3D Builder application.

As the team behind Cubify argued in a blog post, this enhanced Microsoft app will be extremely useful for all 3D printing enthusiasts, even those who own their own printers:

By integrating with our Cubify cloud printing service, Microsoft's 3D Builder R5 gives you access to expanded material options beyond what is typically offered by consumer 3D printers. Materials range from opaque and frosted plastics, to metallic and mixed plastics, to full-color "Colorstone" and even ceramics. From the designing process, users are directly and seamlessly linked to Cubify where they can order their design to be shipped to their doorstep within 2 weeks.

Trophy 3D printed on the UP Plus 2 3D Printer with custom embossed text

Alongside this new service, the 3D Builder App has also been thoroughly overhauled. Editing and selection functions have been made far more accessible and precise. The same goes for its moving, scaling and rotating functions. Furthermore, 3D systems revealed that the library of parts that accompanies the app has been greatly expanded. '3D Builder's built-in library of parts has also gained a new category of trophy 3D models that can be customized and personalized using multiple parts to be scaled up or down depending on their intended application.'

The new controls in the updated 3D Builder App

While no reports have surfaced about the prices attached to this new remote printing service, especially when compared to similar cloud-based 3D printing options, it is nonetheless a very interesting update for an often-used application. If the costs attached to remote metallic or ceramic printing are not overly inflated, even experienced 3D printing enthusiasts look to benefit from this update. Check it out in the Microsoft Store now.

For an overview of new options in the app, check out this video:

Thanks to Kris for the tip!


Posted in 3D Printing Services

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SB wrote at 9/19/2014 12:53:54 AM:

I have an original Up Plus 3d printer. I couldn't get it to work with 3D Building when it first came out. Does it work now?

3D wrote at 9/17/2014 1:16:37 PM:

Google Play Store is not from Microsoft, it's Android.. Curious about the features.

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