back to article Cocky Microsoft strokes soft tool in public for 3D printing on Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 users with a yen for 3D printing and a few thousand bucks for a printer can get a free design application from Microsoft – as Redmond seeks to show it's as modern as the rest of them. 3D Builder Basic tool to get you on your 3D feet "I get excited about 3D printing. Really excited. Like Tom Cruise on Oprah’s …

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  1. Tom 35 Silver badge

    creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

    Brightly coloured plastic jewellery, a perfect complement to the not-metro interface on your phone, tablet, and PC.

    Wonder if they include DRM and plan to sell designs from the app store?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

      Ands up who has got one....

      Hello....

      Anyone there?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

        I haven't got one, and I make things.

        For making useful things, a CNC router is usually more suitable than a 3D printer. Lots of things can be assembled from 2D shapes: shelves, wine racks, stencils, cutting jigs, laptop stands, boxes, chairs, whatever...

        After a CNC router, another useful machine is a metal lathe. You can make your own screw threads, which 3D printers often struggle with.

        Sooner or later MS is going to link this 3D printing software to their Kinect tools, though there's every chance the open-source community already have done.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

          MS Were demonstrating use of Kinnect to scan people's heads at IPexpo, then they printed them out on a 3D printer, with Win 8.1, I presume.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

      Microsoft are ahead of the curve as usual in the driver / hardware space.....If you want it to just work, Windows still has an advantage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

        Microsoft are ahead of the curve as usual in the driver / hardware space

        As a beginning troll, let's say you're not *quite* out of the starting blocks yet. Keep trying.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

      Wonder if they include DRM

      That could get interesting - what if they pull a Zune on a design? Will it revert to its original "plastic on a reel" form? :)

    4. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: creating your own jewellry line of custom 3D-printed earrings.

      Brightly coloured plastic jewellery, a perfect complement to the not-metro interface on your phone, tablet, and PC.

      I am going to gloss over the sarcasm in this (though I completely agree with the sentiment) and point out that using printed plastic parts for use in casting pieces in metal. I doubt this is what the marketing droid had in mind, but it is being done.

      My take on 3D printing is that it will work similarly to the advent of photography, displacing a very expensive process previously only available to those with plenty of disposable cash. Where before only the wealthy could afford to have their portrait painted, many more people can now afford to sit for a photographer. I believe 3D printing will do much the same thing for sculpture.

  2. Don Jefe

    I'm not sure 'Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch' is the image you want to provide if you aren't selling some sort of powerful behavior modification medicine. I'm also not sure a person who can actually relate to that episode should be speaking for, well, anything really.

    When something's so squirrel shit nutty that even the Scientology lizards people don't want it then it's a pretty good indicator that you really shouldn't associate it with your product.

  3. pjosephson

    XXX title

    Wow! Cocky Microsoft strokes soft tool in public for 3D printing on Windows 8.1

    Seriously that is one demented porno title for this article. "Cocky and "Microsoft strokes" . Not to mention the statement was made by a woman makes title somewhat sexist.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: XXX title

      "somewhat sexist"

      Hi fairly new reader. No sexism here, headline has nothing whatsoever to do with the spokesperson - plus, we're equally rude about everyone and everything. Stick around and you'll see :-)

      C.

    2. LarsG

      Re: XXX title

      Just don't talk about waxing lady parts, but cocky is fine.

      Much of what is allowed depends on what side of bed El Reg gets out of, though liberal use of spelling mistakes and ******* use will get it through.

  4. Enrico Vanni

    I just can't excited at all about 3D printing, regardless of the title? Maybe that's the point?!

  5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Microsoft's definition of exciting

    "Like Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch"

    Says it all, I suppose something had to explain Windows 8

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Microsoft's definition of exciting

      OK, now that's funny!

  6. Paul J Turner

    My bet...

    The software spots anyone printing a gun and tattles to the fed's, who largely funded the development.

    That would be more like the Skype-instrumenting MS we know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My bet...

      Anyone who would use [fused deposition modelling, i.e molten thermoplastic] 3D printing to make a gun is an idiot. You'd be much better off with a traditional metal shop. Even if you wanted to use engineering plastics and/or ceramics for X-ray-evading purposes, you'd still better off with a traditional workshop.

      Now, a Selective Laser Sintering machine can produce a better firearm, but they cost so much money you'd be better off just buying your firearms.

      Better yet, learn to enjoy the process of just making things and don't bother shooting anybody.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Any colour as long as it's white?

    Just that seems like a theme with all these 3D printed things.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Any colour as long as it's white?

      Coloured 3D printers do exist, but the assumption is that either the colour doesn't matter ( a prototype to assess the form and fit) or that you are going to have to sand, fill, sand, prime and paint anyway (an appearance model). Defects in lighter-coloured objects are easier spot, because shadows show up more.

  8. westlake

    He who laughs last...

    The Makerbot Win 8.1 driver is available now through Windows Update. MakerBot 3D printer driver for Windows 8.1 goes live

    The Makerbot Replicator 2 is $2,200. Expensive. But not out of line for a first generation consumer product.

    HP introduced the mass-market laser printer, the LaserJet series II, in March 1987. The HP LaserJet II was designed from the ground up as a laser printer with correct order page output as opposed to being leveraged from the Canon PC-20 personal copier. The HP LaserJet II used PCL4, improved features, more memory and fonts for a market price of $2,695.

    HP Laser Jet

    Adjusted for inflation, $5172,

    Free and easy to use entry level CAD/CAM software. OS support. Supported hardware sold off-the-shelf through major retail outlets.

    Not a bad place to begin.

    "

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He who laughs last...

      Not a bad place to begin.

      I'm actually glad the printers are still very expensive. The last thing I want is "cute" 3D objects becoming as common as AOL CDs. There are only so many cat objects I can handle before the need to strangle the giver overcomes my natural laziness. On the upside, maybe they'll go the same way. If there is a practical application, fine, just spare me the "look what I can do" rubbish.

      /grumble

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: He who laughs last...

      >Free and easy to use entry level CAD/CAM software.

      I haven't used Sketch Up (now owned by Google) but I've been led to believe it satisfies these criteria.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge
    FAIL

    Is this more limpware?

    I already have a free program that makes 3D printer files (.stl). It's called SketchUp and it's been our for, er, I dunno, almost 8 years now?

    It is also a very robust 3D program in general and is used worldwide for everything from traditional architecture to industrial design as well as by literally 10 of millions of hobbyists. Google it and see for yourself.

    Once again, day late and a dollar short, Microsoft.

    1. Don Jefe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Is this more limpware?

      SketchUp is a great product. It isn't AutoCAD, but it isn't supposed to be. I have a cabinetmaker friend who designs high end custom furniture with SketchUp and with all the plugins available it becomes quite a powerful tool.

      I really hope Trimble keeps it accessible and feature filled. All our survey and GPS equipment is from Trimble, and while they put out wonderful products they're built around a 'nickel & dime at a time' sales model and before you even realize it you've spent more on accessories and dodads than you did on the actual devices.

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