Forget traditional 2D printing, we’re already on the way to be paperless, but one thing for sure is that this doesn’t mean that printers will retire, on the contrary they are evolving. In a new Extreme Windows Blog post, Microsoft details improvements in Windows 8.1 (which, by the way, still on schedule to release in October 18th) for native support of 3D printing, and the company says that printing physical objects will become “more seamless and ubiquitous”.
Gavin Gear explains that today there is not a framework for 3D printing and this leads to many issues, like detail and metadata can get lost, most apps don’t understand how to talk to a 3D printer, it isn’t efficient, and currently printing physical objects are “best suited for advanced users”. But according to Gear, Windows 8.1 has a goal to solve most of the problems, and as you’ll see in the video, printing an object is a simple as printing a photo, but of course it takes a lot more time.
“Windows 8.1 is the first OS in the world to offer comprehensive built-in support for 3D printing.”
Microsoft is also developing its own 3D file format called 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF). This is an XML-based file format that solves many of the shortcomings on the limited formats out there today, which lack of features such as support for colors and materials.