Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate innovation in all forms. As you might have heard, Microsoft is looking to incorporate a more unified process for 3D Printing. I hadn’t read too many details about how they intend to do this until now. This article showed up on the extreme windows blog and gives up the goods.
Apparently the support will piggyback the existing 2D printer pipeline, and be done in a similar fashion. One of the most important highlights of the article is the introduction of the 3MF format (or 3D Manufacturing Format). It’s XML based (no-brainer) and contains all the elements that you would need. The article says they needed a little more information above the widely used STL format such as color and material support.
So this leads me to a few questions still. What will be the process for creating a printer driver ? If I’m a home-brew rep rapper, are the printer drivers going to require a ridiculous driver signing hurdle like other drivers ? Will this eventually lead to maybe a CNC or laser interface as well ?
Anyway … I wonder when we will see support in the open source world using CUPS for our 3D printers (hah!).
Here’s a video from the site demonstrating printing to a 3D printer from Windows 8.1.