You can now 3D print in multi-colour via Photoshop

3D printer maker Stratasys unveiled an enhanced integration with Adobe's Photoshop that allows users to design and print objects with more than 1,000 colors.

Stratasys released Creative Colours software, which is powered by the Adobe 3D Colour Print Engine. The software now comes bundled with Objet 500 Connex3 printers or can be purchased for existing 3D printers.

"Inside Photoshop natively, we've optimized our materials to their Adobe colour palette. So now we can not just offer 46 colors..., but over 1,000 colors and all those gradients in between," said John Gould, president of Stratasys North America. "Literally, inside Photoshop there's Connex3 option, and you can print straight through to your printer."

In the most basic terms, Stratasys' Creative Colors Software forms a direct bridge between Adobe Photoshop's Creative Cloud (CC) application and the Objet Connex3 3D printer.

Besides printing directly to a Connex3 3D printer, Photoshop users can also choose to print objects via Stratasys' Direct Manufacturing parts-on-demand service. The cloud service then sends a user the object via next-day shipping.

Image: Prototype for hair trimmer

"The big sneaker makers, the big movie production houses, the large toy companies are going to go crazy over this because now they can literally replicate the end use look and feel on Photoshop," Gould said.

Other than the additional gradients of colour, the main advantage for users of Stratasys' Connex3 commercial printer is a streamlined workflow.

"Our goal is to drive simplification to the 3D print workflow. That's what the exclusive partnership with Adobe aims to do," Gould said. "It's almost a click-to-print functionality within Adobe Photoshop to choose the colours and materials you print with."

Image: Prototype for speaker

In 2014, Stratasys introduced the world's first multi-colour, multi-material 3D printer, the Objet 500 Connex3. That same year, Adobe announced that its cloud-based imaging and design software, Photoshop Creative Cloud (CC), could natively export files to 3D printers.

Stratasys' Connex3 3D printer uses "PolyJet" 3D printing technology, which is similar to inkjet printing, but instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper it sends droplets of curable liquid photopolymer onto a build tray, layer by layer.

Additionally, Gould announced two new colors on the Connex3 printer: a bold Cyan blue and a "pure" white.

Stratasys has also ended its Connex2 and Connex1 3D printer line and will now only sell the latest Connex3 model.

"We've made a conscience decision to simplify our Connex portfolio," Gould said.

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