Microsoft releases 3D Builder for Windows 8.1

3D Builder

When Microsoft announced that Windows 8.1 would support 3D printing, it was quite possibly the tipping point of 3D printers sliding into mainstream usage. And 3D printers are indeed now supported. But Microsoft just released their first 3D printing application called 3D Builder.

3D Builder interface

It serves as a model viewer and slicer, as well as a library of models. Some of the models look fun, but nothing that can’t be found elsewhere. The selection for quality, density, and whether or not to add supports and/or a raft will be available for all models, whether from the library or from loading an STL, OBJ, or 3MF file. Objects can be scaled and positioned, but apparently also combined in 3D Builder. It’s not a modeling app, but the stated ability to merge objects is intriguing; combining meshes can be a complicated procedure in many modeling programs. I’d test the authenticity of the claim but I’m still on Windows 7 like most sane people. But it’s nice to look forward to when I am finally forced to “upgrade.”

  • Andy Cohen

    Yet another demonstration of how some people with pull will get their underlings to do things that probably should not be done. The USB ports on just about EVERY 3D printer including the one in MBI’s Mightyboard II (the controller board in the Replicator 2 and 2X) are not fully compliant USB. They are com data interfaces over the USB wire. As such there’s none of the usual USB compliant data verification. The result is a significant loss in reliability and extreme susceptibility to RF and inductive interference. In other words… it fails. All users of SD card capable 3D printer owners already know to always use the SD card and NOT USB. As such, this entire effort is unfortunately useless.

    • Mikkel

      Andy Cohen That is not at all true. Yes the “usb” connection is actually a virtual com port, and therefore you are sending serial data to the electronics board. HOWEVER that serial data is checked against a checksum, or command validator, and if that does not hold true, it resends the last line. Unless you have very small segments in a print, the buffer in the arduino will not have an issue with keeping the buffer full.