I agree, Greg. Five years ago, 3D printing sounded like something from a science fiction novel. Today, its reach has extended beyond the techies and into everyday vocabulary. Microsoft's connection to it will only reinforce that trend.
I agree with you. Once Microsoft creates a direct application, you know that a technology has truly arrived. It's enjoyable for me to see more and more people get excited over 3D printing (which was once a specialized, niche technology when I first entered the engineering workforce).
IMO I feel it's a good move by Microsoft. They have to find solutions which will make the users forget or take their minds off from the Windows 8 drama. This will be embraced by the Windows 8 users in a much more positive and proactive manner for sure.
I believe that too, Charles. Now if Win 8.1 will be supported by a lot of other manufacturers, it will be fine. I downloaded the 8.1 preview and a number of my programs stopped functioning (mainly Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus). But I think this will make 3D printing available to anyone who really wants it.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.