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The tech media is ecstatic about the rebirth of Microsoft and the new Windows 10 operating system. While we’re still waiting to see how Windows 10 will be implemented in new computing platforms like the HoloLens, its implications for 3D printing are already being felt through Microsoft’s 3D Builder App, which allows users to 3D print directly through home printers or 3D Systems’ Cubify service. More interestingly for devout members of the 3D printing community is that the app supports Microsoft’s .3MF format, meant to consolidate all necessary features of a 3D file into one format. And among the first company’s to take .3MF on board directly through Windows 10 is XYZprinting, makers of the low-cost da Vinci series of 3D printers.
XYZprinting has announced a partnership with Microsoft to seamlessly integrate their own software with the Microsoft 3D Builder app so that models uploaded to Builder can be printed directly to XYZprinting machines without issue. This means that models will now be sliced by Builder, regardless of which XYZprinting printer. This includes files saved as .STL, .PLY, and .3MF.
Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting and New Kinpo Group, says of the partnership, “Microsoft is on the cutting edge of technology. With Windows 10 and 3D Builder, we’re pleased to hear that XYZprinting customers who upgrade their operating systems will have software that fully supports the latest in 3D printing designing and experience the seamlessly 3D printing process. Together, XYZprinting and Windows integrate designers’ creativity with the most up-to-date technology easier than ever before.”
What’s unique about this deal, to me, is that XYZprinting, which is striving for consumer-ready, user-friendly machines (regardless of whether or not they pull it off), has found an inroad to widespread consumer adoption through Microsoft, which is working towards the same goal on the software side in terms of its Builder app. Along with its deal with Intel, powering XYZprinting’s handheld 3D scanner, we’re also seeing the Taiwanese manufacturer making a lot of progress in capturing a significant portion of the US market. And, according to at least one report from research firm CONTEXT, XYZprinting is in the top five companies selling desktop printers worldwide, in the US and elsewhere.
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