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Microsoft introduces 3D printing app for Windows 8.1

Microsoft has released a new app for its Windows 8.1 operating system that allows users to create and print objects in 3D.

The 3D Builder app will host a catalogue of pre-designed objects that can be printed directly, as well as tools to allow the creation of unique items. Objects created in other programs or downloaded from the internet will also be able to be printed through the app.

"With the 3D Builder app, we've made it even easier for people to create and print objects in 3D," Microsoft's Kristina Libby wrote in an official Microsoft blog. "3D Builder has a catalogue of objects you can create from ornaments to toys and more. The clean, simple user interface lets you scale, rotate and adjust what you want to print."

The app is available for download from the Windows store immediately and already several 3D printing companies, including MakerBot, 3D Systems and Tier Time, have announced that they will be supporting the Windows 8.1 app before Christmas.

Templates that can be found in 3D Builder include money clips, jewellery, lego-like bricks, ornamental snowflakes and even an entire toy train set.

"Add multiple objects to a single print – even stack or push objects into one another to create new ones," wrote Libby. "Printing 3D objects created in other applications or ones that are downloaded from the internet is really easy with the 3D Builder app and touch as well... Let your imaginations run free!"