Digging Deeper Into Microsoft’s 3D Printing Support

By on July 26th, 2013 in Software


A short while ago we described Microsoft’s surprise announcement of their inclusion of 3D printing support natively in Windows 8.1. We’ve been checking out the detailed documentation available from Microsoft on this feature and found some interesting stuff. 
They’ve extended existing print and document components within Windows to accommodate 3D printing. “PrintTickets” are created to represent a 3D print job. This means 3D printing should appear and behave in a manner vey similar to 2D printing in Windows. 
Applications in the Windows Store are required to include several standard options in print dialogs: 
  • Quality: Draft, Medium and High
  • Density: Hollow, Low (10%), Medium (40%), High (70%) and Solid
  • Supports: Included or Excluded
  • Raft: Included or Excluded
We suspect these options will begin to appear on many different applications and they could become the de facto standard for 3D print dialogs. 
The specification includes some interesting features we didn’t expect: a set of “textures, colors, materials, and objects”. These are part of the “3MF document” that fully describes the print. This means, in theory, the software interface should be able to handle some very capable machines in the future. Color machines. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!