Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will be adding 3D printing support to Windows 8.1. Though the announcement may not immediately resonate with most users, it has designers, creators and early adopters excited to push forward with the 3D revolution.

“A new API will let developers on its platform put 3D printing capabilities right into their apps, so that you’ll be able to print that elegant ashtray your modelling right on the spot,” reports Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch.

This big move may be the precursor to 3D printing becoming a permanant fixture in our lives. The support from Microsoft and the merger of Makerbot with Stratasys means that there is a lot of effort going into mainstreaming home 3D printing. That doesn’t mean that 3D printing will be available at home any time soon but there is a big possibility that it will be something to look forward to in the future. Microsoft showed off a proof-of-concept demonstration at the Microsoft Build developers conference in San Francisco.

The Windows 8.1 will feature plug-and-play support for 3D printers. In other words, you will be able to go into any number of Windows apps, click the file menu, and choose to print a document, just the same as you would to standard print.

[via TechCrunch]