On its extreme Windows Blog on Thursday, Microsoft engineers detailed the upcoming 3D support and printing options for Windows 8.1. This news by Microsoft should hopefully give 3D printing fans and users a glimmer of hope as Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 later this year.
The very detailed post by Microsoft goes into the process of 3D printing in both non-Windows and Windows machines. As it is a new workflow for printers and Windows, it had to be thought of from the ground app, and it has been described in full details by Microsoft.
3D Printing Sequence For Windows 8.1
The 3D Printing sequence for Windows 8.1 was laid out briefly in the post. From listing the 3D printers, the user selecting the 3D printer, selecting print options, the 3D image then converting to a 3MF format, the 3D printer extracting the 3MF image to a understandable printer format, and it ends with the data sent to the printer for the printed item.
Optimized Workflows for 3D Printing
Microsoft clearly had to optimize the way Windows 8.1 and how printers use 3D technology. With Windows 8.1, app developers are able to focus on 3D modeling technology while the printers can focus on the 3D printing. Now, any app in the 3D print tool chain can support 3D printing easily, according to Microsoft.
SDK Released For Developers
Microsoft on Thursday, released an SDK for developers that includes documentation and sample code for 3D printing and apps. Microsoft showed off a demo of their 3D printing on Windows 8.1 in the post via a YouTube video as well. The SDK is available starting on Thursday, and other support options for this new technology are available via recorded sessions, a 3D printing page on the Microsoft site, and social media outreach options.
3D printing is something that will become mainstream one day, and Windows 8.1 has been built to support it starting this Fall. Whether or not it will launch large 3D printers for home usage is unknown, but at least Microsoft is working with developers to build the 3D printing technologies and SDK kits that they can use and start testing today with their apps and software.