With the technological prowess we have today worldwide, most of us now feel somewhat put out upon encountering processes that are still dusty and outdated and perhaps take an inordinate amount of steps—and time out of our busy day—to reach a desired result. Customers appreciate it when businesses take the effort to make life easier for them, and often that means an increase on the bottom line as those shopping for and using services have extra minutes to purchase more.
In today’s online world, strategic partnerships often (hopefully) offer profitability for both sides, as well as allowing for happier users. And while Microsoft has been strangely quiet on the 3D printing front—not unlike Apple—slowly we’ve seen them integrating in some 3D printing features with Windows, as well as connecting the 3D Builder App with Kinect capabilities. Their foray into the industry has been and continues to trail along slowly, but what they have offered has definitely been geared toward conveniences for their client base. This was reinforced recently as well with an announcement that they would partner with Materialise, melding their cloud-based services with Microsoft products such as the 3D Builder app, along with other platforms.
The momentum is continuing between the two companies, however, as now they’ve announced a new connection that will make 3D printing even easier for their mutual customers, allowing for Microsoft users working with 3D Builder to go straight to the i.materialise 3D printing factory when ready to 3D print their models. This direct connect gives the Windows community a quick way to bring their designs to fruition without having to go in numerous directions trying to figure out how to reach what should be an easy end result.
“As a preferred supplier of Microsoft, we are really looking forward to realizing the designs of the Windows community and to working with the Microsoft team to further improve how people experience 3D printing,” said the i.materialise team in their press release.
With Windows 10, users will find 3D Builder already installed in their apps list. This particular app has been redesigned, and designs seem quite simple to make from within in it completely from scratch. There you are able to do the following with your 3D models:
- Print 3D models
Files can be downloaded from other 3D file repositories and then edited. The whole system is, of course, completely user-friendly, including personalization tools, and even the opportunity for translating webcam photos into 3D. The following file types are supported:
- WRL (VRML)
- 3MF files
Microsoft points out that you do still have the choice of sending your prints out to a local printer or just sending it off to i.materialise with the click of a button and no hassle. Either way, this makes creating completely possible even if you don’t have a 3D printer in the home or office. When ordering through i.materialise from the app, you are promised a high-quality print—and your choice of materials like silver, gold, stainless—and even titanium or ceramic. Those are just some of the choices, with a total of 21 different materials and over 100 different choices for color and finishes. Ordering can be completed in seconds, and users should find the service very affordable.
Are you interested in downloading the 3D Builder app? You can do so here, as well as finding out more about Microsoft 3D printing activities here. Discuss this new feature more over in the Microsoft 3D Prints Straight to i.materialise forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: i.materialise]