Microsoft announced native support for 3D printing in Windows 8.1 when it launched the public preview version of the operating system. The technology is almost ready for primetime and built in driver support will only help it become mainstream.

Now the technology titan has posted a new entry in its “On the Whiteboard” series detailing several reasons why the company has decided to support 3D printing in its upcoming OS.

The video, posted on YouTube, opens up with a visit to MakerHaus — a Seattle based company that lets people use their studio and tools (including advanced 3D printers) to create product designs.

Mike Kemery of MakerHaus talks about how native driver support for 3D printing in Windows 8.1 is one of the first steps to turning this hobbyist venture into something that could potentially be as revolutionary as desktop printing was 20 years ago.

And believe you me, desktop printing was as influential a milestone as any.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc46DDGHBbo

The video also features Shanen Boettcher of Microsoft who compares the current mainstream reaction to 3D printers who believed that there was no need of a microwave oven in the kitchen. Interesting!

Nevertheless, the goal for Microsoft is to make 3D printing as easy as printing a Word document today. The technology giant already sells the MakerBot Replicator 2 at its retail stores in Palo Alto and San Francisco for $1,299.

Plans are already underway to sell the device in other Microsoft Store locations later this year.

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