3D Printing with Windows

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3D printing is a high profile and transformational technology, and Windows now includes support for 3D printers. This session provides everything you need to know to add 3D printing capability to your apps and to integrate 3D printer devices with Windows. Also see our interview with Kris Iverson. 





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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Will there be any support from Microsoft for hobbyist RepRap printers (Printrbot, Mendelmax, Prusa i3, Ultimaker, Solidoodle, Makibox, etc.), or will Microsoft's support be limited only to machines from proprietary vendors?

    I realize a device profile would need to be made, but creating the basic skeleton for one of these (e.g. Printrbot) would make it easier for people to customize it for other RepRap printers.

  • User profile image
    Kris Iverson

    Dear Leorex,

    In addition to our great hardware partners like 3D Systems, MakerBot, Fabbster, and TierTime, we demonstrated a Type-A Machines printing with Windows 8.1 on the showroom floor at the Build conference. Type-A Machines include a popular Arduino style electronics package running an open source 'Marlin' firmware. The Win8.1 driver for this machine is not complete but does show that with a little effort you can take the Microsoft 3d Printing SDK and build support for any 3D printer available today.

  • User profile image
    Christopher Gutteridge

    What a wishy washy response! If Microsoft gave two figs about the low end market the response should have been "of course it will have full support for reprap and other popular low-end printers".

    The statement about their "great" hardware partners says it all, they are here to take your money, not to give you what you want.

    Once in a while Microsoft does something well, but these days I suspect that can be attributed to statistical chance rather than to intelligent design.

    (Sorry for the very grumpy tone, but I have not yet found any coffee)

  • User profile image

    I am just working on an modern app that will need 3d printing in the end so this comes in handy. Thank you!

  • User profile image
    Kris Iverson

    Dear Christopher,

    How about this: I will personally assist any developer who would like to implement a Windows 8.1 3d printer driver to support the RepRap community. I will even treat them to a coffee. Learn how by watching the video and then email: ask3dprint@microsoft dot com to introduce yourself.

  • User profile image

    Great response, Kris. Native 3D printing support is a great thing and very hard to implement with or without coffee. And Microsoft has been doing wonderful things lately. Congratulations. 

  • User profile image

    Great work guys. The support for 3D printers will make life soooo much easier for those using open source Marlin firmware on Arduino Compatable mainboards in their printers. At the moment there are many bits and pieces of software you need to go from 3D model to printout. Your efforts will greatly simplifiy this and are greatly appreciated.
    Quick question: How does the print spooler work when you send multiple print jobs to the printer? The printer needs to stop and wait while you remove the printout from the print bed before the next print (see you've got the same spatula/scraper as us in the background).

  • User profile image

    Nice interface.
    We could use your help in developing a 3D printer driver for Airwolf 3D printers and other RepRap machines. http://airwolf3d.com/

  • User profile image
    Lars Brubaker

    Hi Kris

    We'll take you up on that offer. We have been developing our own RepRap printer control software, "MatterControl" and will be implementing the required support to integrate with Windows 8.1. We will make sure that all open source source printer from every vendor have great support on Windows going forward.

    Lars Brubaker
    MatterHackers, Inc.

  • User profile image

    What about the rest of the eco-system? the other stuff MS should implement along with the printer driver.

    PS: the 'printer driver' in 8.1 appears to be hacked - at least on my machines anyways

    nothing ever changes does it MS :)

  • User profile image
    Kris Iverson

    Dear Ian,

    Can you clarify which hardware manufacturer's printer driver you are using that you feel is hacked?

  • User profile image
    Marcus Vincent

    Hi Kris,

    Great video of what lies ahead with 3D printing and Windows, thanks for the feature.

    Can you print from Windows Surface?

  • User profile image
    Kris Iverson

    Dear Marcus,

    Yes, Steve Ballmer's Build keynote included a demo of 3d printing using a Surface Pro.

  • User profile image

    It is a great news for the 3D printing community who works on Windows.

    I am wondering if there would be plenty of 3D models available in Windows Store, for public users, so that they would buy, or freely download from there.



  • User profile image
    Kris Iverson

    Dear zhaoguang,

    We are not currently planning to distribute 3d models through the Windows Store. It is a good idea. We are hoping to see a number of 3d printing applications published to the Windows Store that make it easy for consumers to create 3d models and print them through our work in Windows 8.1. This is a great developer opportunity and the Windows Store Hackathon winners did just that in 50 hours: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Build-2013-Hackathon-Winners.

  • User profile image

    very nice looking for something quicker bresponse.

  • User profile image
    Kris Iverson

    Channel 9's Larry Larsen recently produced a video with more information about 3d Printing and Windows 8.1. You can see it here: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/A-Look-at-3D-Printing-and-Windows-81.

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