At Build 2015 this week, Microsoft is about to reveal a new file format for 3D printing.
Currently the most common file format for 3D printable models is .STL, which was created in 1989. It contains data of 3D models sliced down into layers. However, to unlock the full capabilities of the 3D printing technology, a new file format is needed.
Microsoft, HP and other companies have set up an industry consortium to create a new file format for 3D printing, that does not only contain data of the individual layers but also texture and colour for example, and is additionally compatible with existing 3D printers and CAD. Their work along with further information will be presented during the session “Developing 3D Printing Applications and Services in Windows 10”, on Thursday, April 30.
So far Microsoft has supported 3D printing by integrating functions into Windows 8.