Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MakerBot Collaborates With Microsoft

Brooklyn-based 3D printer manufacturers MakerBot have been enjoying a hell of a month, and things still seem to be looking up. Initially Amazons 3D printer store added MakerBot’s creation the Replicator 2, which was a huge success, so much so that it prompted the top Israeli firm Stratasys to acquire the Brooklyn company for a whopping $403 million. If this wasn’t enough to boost their almost meteoric rise, reports now suggest that MakerBot will be teaming up with software giant Microsoft, to develop a 3D printing driver for their new updated Windows 8.1 OS. These Windows 8 drivers are sure to boost the sales of both Windows 8 and 3D printers around the world, as more and more people from the scientific and industrial sectors find the 3D printer more useful for research and business.

At the Build developer’s conference held in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft made a public announcement regarding their association with MakerBot and future plans. Even though the Windows 8.1 public release date has not been announced officially, the company did display a working version of the OS with built-in support for 3D printing.

Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Microsoft’s Startup Business Group commented, "Our goal is to make the experience of 3D printing as easy as creating and printing a document using Microsoft Word." In a press statement he also added, "We're thrilled incredible companies like MakerBot are implementing Windows 8.1 support to make 3D printing a reality for the masses."

MakerBot’s top priority is to integrate the use of a 3D printer into the lives of the average customer who can use it for a wide scope of applications. People in industrial design to architects to robotic engineers can use a 3D printer to increase productivity and creativity. Although the cost of the Replicator 2 is a staggering $2100, which makes the expense prohibitive, the company is pushing forward to make 3D printers more accessible by collaborating with top technology partners. Soon if everything goes smoothly 3D printers might become just another useful peripheral devices.

MakerBot is pushing the creation of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem that makes designing and printing in 3D easier and more accessible. Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot said, “We want to empower more people to create and make things, and working with Microsoft helps our mission.” Along with the creation of Windows 8 drivers for 3D printing, both Microsoft and MakerBot also plan to become retail partners. You could get your hands on the replicator 2 on Microsoft’s Online store, and some places even keep the printer in stock and offer demonstrations on using the 3D printer with ease.

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