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Microsoft releases 3D Builder so you can view, prepare, and print your 3D models on Windows 8

3D Builder

Everyone wishes they had a 3D printer. It’s a relatively new field that’s beginning to see mainstream appeal. To help push 3D printing, Microsoft has released an app for Windows 8 that will let you manage your prints. Makerbot also pushed out some driver updates for Windows 8.1. One way or another, today’s a good day if you’re into 3D printing on Windows 8.

Microsoft just released a new Windows 8 app called 3D Builder. Bad news first, it won’t work on ARM based devices like the Surface 2. Instead its current system requirements list x86/x64 processors as needed. That said, it seems like a pretty solid app for viewing, preparing and printing your 3D models.

It should work with any 3D printer that is Windows 8.1 ready. For example, a certain popular printer that’s sold in select Microsoft Stores –the Makerbot Replicator 2. Which today just received a new set of drivers to work on Windows 8.1. So if you’re already rocking one of those, be sure to pick up the latest drivers.   

3D Builder

We don’t have a 3D printer (yet), but did install and fire up the 3D Builder app from Microsoft. You can load your own 3D models or you can browse a handful of models from Microsoft. We’re fans of the little 3D rocket model. From there you can manipulate, resize, and position how the model should print on your printer of choice.

Want to get 3D Builder? Be sure to head to the Windows Store to get it then.

Via: Windows Blog, Wind8Apps

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Reader comments

Microsoft releases 3D Builder so you can view, prepare, and print your 3D models on Windows 8

21 Comments

Anywhere from $100 for something like the Peachy Printer to $2199 for the Makerbot Replicator. You can also build your own. There's a whole community out there. I'm thinking 3D printing will be a fun new hobby. 

I can completely recommend the Printrbot Simple kit ($300.) It takes a couple hours to build but it's not rocket surgery, and several recent reviews compare its quality to the $2000+ Makerbots... it generally is the same machine with a smaller bed & a less Best-Buy-ready design. It doesn't support the Windows 8.1 3D printing pipeline, but I expect it will soon enough, and in the meantime the desktop apps are serviceable and they'll help you learn a lot about how it works. It certainly requires some maintenance and understanding to calibrate... but that is still state-of-the-art... and take care not burn your hand on the exposed extruder (200C+.)

Translations have nothing to do with this. There are plenty of Apps in the Store that aren't translated to my Language and are available and others that are translated but NOT available (example: Nokia Music)

Yes, except generally it's an additive process (building up the form from nothing) vs. subtractive (cutting away to expose the form.) The cheaper machines tend to squeeze a fine bead of melted plastic onto a bed in layers, moving up. The one thing that surprises me is "bridging", which is when the plastic is extruded in midair between two lower points.

Rather than a milling machine that is reductive with the material, a 3D printer (in this case) is additive.  It's kind of neat to think of every 3D object is just a bunch of stacked 2D slices - the reverse of an MRI image.

Now there's a thought...hook up an MRI scan file to a 3D printer to get 3D medical models for home DIY brain surgery practice.

My local MS store had one of these connected to a Surface Pro 2; pretty cool. I wish they would let consumers print stuff there for a nominal fee. I'm guessing we'll see a few "print" shops offer such a service next year. Seems like something Staples could get into for publicity.

The 3D Builder app installs on my fresh Windows 8.1 install but doesn't work after that.  I see the 3D Builder splash screen - then nothing happens.

In addition, the support forums link is broken

Still born.