Released today from Microsoft is a 3D printing application called 3D Builder which will help hobbyists to get started in 3D printing, provided they 1) have a Windows 8.1 machine and 2) a Windows 8.1 compatible 3D printer.
So it’s a small group. But it is very good. Every technology has an incubation phase outside of the mainstream, and 3D printing is only now enjoying public awareness, let alone mass adoption.
Windows 8.1 was designed to support 3D printing in an almost cool gadget instead of moonshotty, due to the drop in price of consumer 3D printers, such as those produced by MakerBot. MakerBot will support Windows 8.1 this year, if you didn’t know.
The app is designed to help you design. It has a built-in parts catalog, and you can add your own for a twist. At first glance, if you remember Spore’s creature stage, it should be somewhat similar. I couldn’t test the app on the road because I don’t have a 3D printer (AOL? Hey?), But reviews will tell the story over the next few days.
Microsoft was behind the internet and missed the smartphone train, but it seems determined to be at the start of 3D printing. If the technology advances enough and the price drops fast enough, it could be a winning move for Microsoft over the next five years. For now, you can probably only make little lumpen dinosaurs for your child if you have all the materials.
From humble beginnings.
Top Image Credit: Microsoft