Microsoft releases Raspberry Pi 3D printing app

May 24, 2016 // 11:46 a.m.

Tags: #3d-printer #3d-printing #billy-anders #microsoft #raspberry-pi #raspberry-pi-2 #raspberry-pi-3 #windows-10 #windows-10-iot-core

Microsoft has released code which allows owners of a Raspberry Pi 2 or Raspberry Pi 3 single-board computer (SBC) to turn it into a networked print server for a range of 3D printers.

When Microsoft first announced that it would be releasing Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi, it came with a wave of excitement that was quickly crushed by the discovery that the operating system would be a significantly pared-down edition dubbed IoT Core and focusing on embedded usage. Since then, Microsoft has been working hard to convince developers that Windows 10 IoT Core is a serious competitor to using GNU/Linux on the Raspberry Pi in a variety of embedded projects, and with its latest release the company has stumbled onto something promising by building on the great support Windows has for the latest third-party hardware.

'Today, we have added a new Windows 10 IoT Core sample app, “Network 3D Printer,” that adds support for an even wider range of 3D printers and allows you to access them over your network,' explained Microsoft's director of programme management for Windows IOT Core, Billy Anders, in the announcement. 'Multiple Windows computers on your network can even share the same 3D printer.'

The initial release of the example code, which is available to download and run on a Raspberry Pi 2 or Pi 3 now, includes support for 'more than a dozen' 3D printers, including models from Ultimaker, Prusa, Printrbot, Makergear, and Lulzbot. Microsoft's goal with the release is clear, and nothing Anders is trying to hide: 'we invite device manufacturers to evaluate the experience that this enables and the benefits of being able to easily Wi-Fi enable their devices and connect them to Windows,' he explains.
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