With Windows 8.1 around the bend, Microsoft is taking the opportunity to add support to the OS for 3D printing. As Microsoft’s Gavin Gear explains in a blog post on the topic, printing in 3D with Windows 8.1 is much like printing in 2D (such as printing a document) right now. If it works as smoothly as Gear describes, 3D printing will be more streamlined process (and easier, it appears) in 8.1 than it is with third-party software right now. In fact, Windows 8.1 may even help those third-party programs improve the 3D printing process for you, too.
The 3D printing process with the help of new Windows 8.1 support. Image credit: Microsoft
Right now, 3D printing typically involves several steps and may be exported multiple times. On the other hand, 2D printing is a fairly painless process for the user, thanks to the “print pipeline,” in the data is converted into a format the printer can read. Microsoft wants to use a similar print pipeline to cut down the printing steps for 3D. Pick up a 3D printing app from the Windows Store, and you can adjust printing settings and tap or click Print, just as you would with a 2D printer.