Jan 22, 2015 | By Alec

Those of you who’ve been following the news in the technology world lately, will not have been able to escape from all the latest buzz surrounding Microsoft’s Windows 10. While no release has yet been announced (expected in late 2015), more and more previews are slowly shaping an interesting system revolving around user and device integration. And yesterday, on 21 January, the latest press event was held at the Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA, which focused on consumer possibilities.

While all of the Windows buzz will be interesting to anyone frequently working with pc’s (and who doesn’t?), but we here at 3ders.org are mostly interested in what all of this means for the world of 3D printing. For those of you who hadn’t noticed, Microsoft has been seeking to integrate 3D printing and scanning into the entirety of its product for a while now; over the last two years, they’ve released the plug-and-play 3D printing application 3D builder, established a  collaboration with cloud-based 3D printing service Cubify, and integrated Kinect into 3D scanning software.

All this suggests that 3D printing will be a complete part of Windows 10 from its inception, at yesterday’s preview suggests that our speculation isn’t complete nonsense. For center stage was given to the Windows HoloLens yesterday, a Occulus Rift-type virtual reality device that will be completely integrated into everything Windows 10 – from games, to skype to browsing and every other thing people use pc’s for. And as they were quick to remind everyone, it should be a perfect tool for 3D design and 3D printing.


First off, the HoloLens looks very impressive on the images, but there’s still some work to be done to realize it. Just look at this review on Mashables describing it as a fearsome piece of wiring and machinery without a proper casing. But, as just about everyone who tried it so far has reported, the holographic side of the machine works perfectly already, and will literally add a whole new dimension to pc use. Made by the same team who brought the Kinect to the Xbox, Microsoft is aiming to set a new standard in 3D computing.

But most interesting for us, and something that was focused on in Redmond yesterday, is the inclusion of the HoloStudio: an app for the HoloLens that will allow the user to 3D build objects in real time. Those present yesterday were treated to the sight of a Microsoft employee build 3D objects in real time. Though only the wearer of the HoloLens sees what’s actually going on, his perspective was also broadcast on a large screen. Using voice commands and a series of taps with his hands, a futuristic quadcopter (below) was soon realized.

It seems like the idea behind this HoloStudio is that intuitive 3D design is brought to virtual reality; items could be potentially built in an hour or so, and sent to your 3D printer immediately. As Alex Kipman, the mastermind behind Windows’ 3D products (including the Kinect) said: ‘Holograms are like print preview for 3D printing.’ To illustrate that point, a cool looking 3D printed X-Wing fighter from the Star Wars universe – which was reportedly designed in HoloStudio in an hour and a half and then printed – was displayed as well.

Could this be the future of AutoCAD or whatever piece of software is to your tastes? As no release date or price has been announced, we will have to wait a while before we can find out. It certainly looks promising enough, inspiring daydreaming on a whole new definition of 3D design. I can already imagine playing Minecraft around your house and then just saying ‘print!’.


Posted in 3D Software


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jimmy wrote at 1/25/2015 12:27:24 AM:

so wait, does this actully produce holograms, or is it just another oculus rift?

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