Microsoft Details 3D Printing Support in Windows 8.1, A Lot like Printing in 2D

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.

Process for using a 3D printer on a Windows 8.1 computer.
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.