Oct.17, 2013

Today's the big day: Microsoft unleashed its new Windows 8.1 operating system today. The first update to its Windows 8 is available as a free download in over 230 markets and in 37 languages. The boxed version will be available in retail stores starting tomorrow.

Windows 8.1 also has built-in support for 3D printing. There are a number of new features designed to support 3D manufacturing in Windows 8.1:

  • Driver model for 3D manufacturing devices;
  • Support for Windows Store device apps and extensions for 3D manufacturing devices;
  • Job spooling and queuing support;
  • Keywords for modeling device capabilities;
  • API for apps to submit 3D manufacturing jobs to your 3D printer.

At its Taipei launch yesterday evening, Microsoft said it plans to collaborate with 3D printer makers, including Taiwan's New Kinpo Group, to explore 3D printing market with its Windows 8.1 mobile operating system.

Previously Microsoft has announced that it is working with companies like Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, Formlabs, MakerBot, Tiertime etc to enhance and simplify the design process.

"Microsoft may collaborate with the world's top three 3D printer makers [3D Systems Corp, Stratasys Ltd and ExOne Co] to expand its share in the 3D printing market, while strengthening its foothold in the mobile device market," said Microsoft Taiwan Corp's marketing and operations general manager Roan Kang.


"Given the 3D printing market has huge growth potential but remains underdeveloped, we think it is advantageous for Microsoft to enter this battlefield and hold a share as soon as possible."

For Microsoft, the addition of native 3D printer support gives it an entry to 3D printing market. On the other side, 3D printer makers will be able to build on the API at less cost and with less complexity than those specialized software.

Kang said Microsoft's embedded application installed on Windows 8.1 platform can read nearly every kind of document format, offers a wider selection of colors and processes printing works more quickly than existing software programs do.

Taiwan-based New Kinpo Group announced its own-brand 3D printers: XYZprinting back in August. The new 3D printer is priced only USD499, aiming to meet the demand in the future that every family needs a 3D printer. Kinpo expects its sale could reach to one million units in the next three years.

Kinpo declined to answer if Microsoft has contacted the company about the collaboration, but said it would first try to get familiar with Windows 8.1.

With launch of Windows 8.1 and its built-in 3D printing feature, it's going to be easier than ever for anyone to turn an idea into a physical object. And more 3D printer companies would benefit from new Window's capability.


Posted in 3D Design



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Carlos Conde. wrote at 11/12/2013 1:54:09 AM:

Curiously, I found today that cubify invent and its newer flagship, cubify design, are not compatible with Windows 8.1. Their solution is to use and older os machine. What!?!?!?

Ben wrote at 10/18/2013 12:17:38 AM:

Please post a hands-on review of this application. I have an i5 tablet with Windows 8 gathering dust and wonder if this would be better than dusting off my old netbook and loading up KISSlicer or Slic3r. Thanks!

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