It's official. The newest reseller for MakerBot is Microsoft. The two companies have signed an agreement that will allow Microsoft to sell MakerBot's Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in stores and online.
As if that weren't enough news, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 will feature native support for 3D printers. "Our goal 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.
Makerbot was quick to confirm that the newest version of Windows will work with their Replicator 2 printers. They put out a press release detailing the reselling agreement and acknowledging the new capability of Windows 8.1.
"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."
Not to be left out, 3D Systems also confirmed that Windows 8.1 will work with the Cube. They even took the announcement a step further and put on a demonstration at Microsoft's Build Conference today. The official press release stated:
“Earlier today 3D Systems demonstrated the first 3D printer driver using Microsoft's 3D printer SDK for Windows 8.1 for its Cube 3D printer at Microsoft's Build. This capability gives consumers the same simplicity of connecting their Cube as a 2D printer. Additionally, applications written for Windows 8.1 will be able to print 3D content directly from the application to the Cube 3D printer. The new Windows-based features further enhance the Cube user experience making it more seamless and on par with what consumers have come to expect with their 2D printing devices."
Windows 8.1 will also include an API for developers, allowing them to include 3D printing capability in the apps they design.