Microsoft has added support for 3D printing to its Windows 8.1 update in the form of a built-in API. That means developers will be able to include 3D printing support to their applications for the platform.

Of course, users will have to own a 3D printer, which can still be an expensive pursuit for many, but Microsoft believes it is the first step in making 3D printing as easy to activate as normal 2D printing.

Home 3D printing is certainly seeing a surge in popularity, so the price of the devices will drop over the coming months and years. Some high street stores in the UK and US are already stocking 3D printers, with Staples in the US now carrying the Cube 3D Printer for $1,299 (£834). In the UK, electronics store Maplin is selling the Velleman K8200 for £700, although it is currently listing it as out of stock.