One of the neat features of Windows 8.1 is that it can handle 3D printing. So, if you own or have access to a 3D printer, you can create and print actual objects.
To download 3D Builder, just go to the Windows 8 App Store and type 3D Builder in the search box. The app is free and you just tap Install to install it immediately.
Microsoft says the app is ideally suited for touchscreen devices but also works fine on laptops and desktops using a keyboard and mouse.
The program comes with templates for things like a toy train, a money clip and a snowflake. These items are printed with a thin plastic filament instead of ink.
Here’s an example of the locomotive from the train set. The 3D printer would print out the various parts in plastic and you would assemble it later.
Here’s a look at the finished train on a track you can print using the included templates.
The app will also allow you to print multiple models at once. In a Microsoft blog post, Gavin Gear showed off a two piece charging car dock that he printed overnight.
He assembled the parts along with some electronics he purchased from eBay and created his own custom charging mount.
3D Builder will also allow you to import .3mf, .obj and .stl files to create designs. The app will work with any 3D printer with a Windows 8.1 driver.