Microsoft has released its own 3D modelling software for Windows 8.1 to complement the operating system's new 3D printing compatibility.
3D Builder is available to download free from the Windows Store and allows users with 3D printers to import, edit and print 3D model files. Users without 3D printers can also use the software to create and edit 3D objects for use elsewhere.
The program comes with several pre-made items including a toy train and track, a pumpkin, a castle and a selection of numbers and letters that can be scaled, coloured and rotated to the user's specification.
Announcing the news on Microsoft's Windows Experience blog, consumer PR lead Kristina Libby said Microsoft had embraced the future potential of 3D printing. "We're entering an exciting new era in which everyone will be able to create and print three-dimensional objects," she said.
"Just imagine being able to print a spare part for a household appliance, or creating your own jewellery line of custom 3D-printed earrings. With Windows 8.1 and the 3D Builder app, all of that is now possible."
Interest in 3D printing has increased in recent years, although many exciting-sounding possibilities are yet to take shape due to the high up-front cost of buying a device as well as high running costs.
Consumer 3D printers have already gone on sale in high-street stores, but are generally out of the reach of most consumers, costing more than £1,000.
The UK's government has invested £500,000 in 3D printing lessons for school children as part of a trial to see if the technology could be of use in the classroom.
Businesses have also considered the possibilities of installing 3D printers. Tesco told V3 in September that it could see the technology in its future, while McDonald's has also considered the idea.
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