3D Printing

3D Print from the Cubify Cloud with Microsoft's Latest 3D Builder App

While we still await any indication that Apple cares about 3D printing, Microsoft has had its hat in the 3D printing ring for over a year.  Windows 8.1 offers native support for the technology, with a 3D printing app called 3D Builder, which allows users to assemble 3D models from simple primitives and print them on your desktop fabricator.  Today, an updated version of the app was released with a number of new improvements, including the ability to 3D print from the cloud via a new partnership with 3D Systems and their Cubify cloud printing services.

3D builder with up 3D printer

According to the company, the main control of Microsoft’s 3D Builder R5 has been completely overhauled and includes a new selection control.  The user interface has been redesigned to add greater options for editing and manipulating 3D models.  With a new, expanded Edit Mode, users can emboss, cut, join, subtract, and intersect objects in the software.  Selecting items in the virtual build platform is also meant to be easier with a few new methods for grabbing multiple objects at once.  Users now also have more intuitive methods for moving, scaling, and rotating objects.

Additionally, 3D Builder R5 has added the ability to 3D print from the cloud via Cubify, 3D Systems’ consumer cloud printing service.  Even if users don’t own a 3D printer to fabricate their models, they can click on the software’s “Buy Print” button, which will allow them to order the print through 3D Systems in a range of colors and materials offered by the company, including opaque and frosted plastics, metallic and mix plastics, full-color Colorstone, and ceramics.  Then, in about two weeks, the model will arrive at the customer’s doorstep.

3D builder 3D printing ceramic with cubify

The new app seems to have added some much needed capability to bring it up to speed with other 3D modeling tools.  Perhaps more interesting than the cleanness of the app’s redesign is Microsoft’s partnership with 3D Systems.  Microsoft has already partnered with MakerBot, owned by 3D Systems’ competitor Stratasys, to sell their machines in Microsoft Retail Stores.  As the 3D printing industry begins to take hold with the public, it looks like Microsoft is betting on all horses.

For more information about the new app, watch the video from Microsoft below: