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Microsoft, the maker of the most popular desktop operating systems, appears to have brought 3D printing fully into the mainstream. The company announced at its Build developer conference on Wednesday that it will be adding built-in support for 3D printers as part of Windows 8.1.
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One of the most pleasant surprises today at the Microsoft Build conference is the news that Windows 8.1 will natively support 3D printing. While the first wave of info is great news for the 3D printing ecosystem, people still had a few questions. Will you be able to just plug your 3D printer and Windows sets it up just like a 2D printer? Are 3D printing companies getting their software and drivers right now for 8.1? The answer to both questions is yes.
MakerBot, which fell into the arms of 3D printing giant Stratasys last week, was in many ways the embodiment of the Maker movement: It was young, hip, full of ideas, and almost the polar opposite of the company that eventually acquired it.
Last fall, Ars reported on the opening of a Southern California shop that was selling a $600 3D printer. The brick-and-mortar store seemed to bring the total number of 3D printer retail stores in America (and possibly the world) to two. Since then, there’s been a steadily rising interest in 3D printing—particularly in 3D-printed firearms, which, of course, has drawn the ire of legislators.
Scientists using new 3D printing technology have produced lithium-ion batteries the size of a grain of sand. They say the tiny batteries, similar in function to those in cell phones and digital wristwatches, could be used in a new wave of innovative, miniature medical devices.
A fresh report on the state of the 3D printing industry, its associated technologies, markets and key players has claimed the industry will be worth $4 billion (£2.6 billion, €3 billion) by 2025.
The president of Foxconn Technology Group, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, has blasted 3D printing, calling it a “gimmick.”
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