Windows 8.1 to support 3D printing through native API

As quickly as 3D printers have taken off, they haven't had true OS-level support. Microsoft is fixing that with Windows 8.1: a built-in API will let developers weave 3D printing into their own apps. While the experience will be slightly more complicated than firing up an old-fashioned inkjet, it should include familiar-looking printing dialogs and persistent settings. The only real challenge will be picking up a 3D printer in the first place -- but that's getting easier by the day. %Gallery-192352%

Dana Wollman contributed to this report.

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MakerBot® Announces Support for Windows 8.1, Creating a New Ecosystem for Windows Customers

June 26, 2013 – MakerBot, the leader in desktop 3D printing, is excited to announce its support for Windows 8.1. At today's Build conference, Microsoft demonstrated Windows 8.1 with built-in support for 3D printing. MakerBot has developed a 3D printing driver that uses the new 3D print pipeline in Windows 8.1. With Windows 8.1, customers will experience plug-n-play and seamless end-to-end printing from a wide variety of applications directly to the MakerBot.

Building on this news, MakerBot also announced a reseller agreement between MakerBot and Microsoft to offer the popular MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer in select Microsoft retail stores and online at The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer will come with MakerBot's MakerCare service.

MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers are currently available at and in select Microsoft stores along with live demonstrations of the technology. Recently, visitors to the Microsoft store at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto have been learning about MakerBot and 3D Printing through an experience and demonstration that will be expanded to the Westfield San Francisco Centre Microsoft store as of today.

"Our goal to is to make the experience of 3D printing as easy as creating and printing a document using Microsoft Word," said Shanen Boettcher, General Manager, Startup Business Group, Microsoft. "We're thrilled incredible companies like MakerBot are implementing Windows 8.1 support to make 3D printing a reality for the masses, and we look forward to being inspired by what people create when these amazing new software and hardware experiences come together."

"MakerBot is about creating the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem that makes 3D designing and printing more accessible. We want to empower more people to create and make things, and working with Microsoft helps our mission, "said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. "Giving people the tools to innovate and invent just by hitting 'print' and sending it to your MakerBot Replicator 2 is an exciting part of fueling the Next Industrial Revolution. I am excited about the opportunities this combination will bring to our current and future customers."

The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer is one of the most successful, affordable and accessible desktop 3D printers on the market and is helping to lead the Next Industrial Revolution. The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer is MakerBot's fourth generation 3D printer and one of the easiest and fastest tools for making professional-quality models and prototypes. The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer features a 100-micron layer resolution, and offers a 410 cubic inch build volume (11.2" L x 6.0" W x 6.1" H), setting a new standard in desktop 3D printing.

The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem drives the accessibility and rapid adoption of its desktop 3D printers. It includes, the largest collection of downloadable digital designs for making physical objects, and which is empowered by a growing community of makers and creators. It also includes MakerWare software, MakerCare service, MakerBot Filament, the MakerBot Retail Store, the MakerBot 3D Photo Booth, and strategic partnerships including Autodesk, Adafruit, Nokia, OUYA, MoMA and Amazon. MakerBot recently announced it will further extend its 3D Ecosystem with the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner.