Siggraph 2013: LightWave 11.6 lets you print your 3D models on a 3D printer

Upgrade also adds new animation tools, support for Nvidia's CgFX shader and full stereo 3D support.

NewTek will release a new version of its LightWave 3D modelling, animation and rendering software in the autumn. Check out the new features in LightWave 11.6 below.

The Spline Control tool lets you use nulls or other objects to act as nodes in a spline to control or deform objects (such as tentacles, tails, whips or even a line of SUVs).

Raycast Motion utilizes Raycasting technology to make an object aware of its surroundings in an animation.

The Compound Node allows users to simplify and customize complex networks down to a single node.

LightWave 11.6 can use Nvidia's CgFX shader technology to create 3D assets for virtual production, pre-visualization, or game development. Users can view assets within LightWave OpenGL exactly as they will appear in the final real-time display engine.

They can also place Normal Maps on 3D objects to make lower-polygon objects or characters display as higher-resolution objects, and create custom CgFX shaders or use existing CgFX shaders.

LightWave Modeler now includes new import and export options to support the popular STL and PLY file formats for output to 3D printers. VRML is also supported and offers surface color data for 3D colour printing of objects with texture maps.

Also included is full control of the export format used, whether in ASCII or binary, the up direction, and units for export. New geometry clean up tools specifically for 3D printing output are also included.

LightWave 11.6 also adds support for Nvidia's 3D Vision and 3D Vision Pro stereoscopic 3D systems, as well as HDMI stereo devices. Using this, NewTek says artists and designers can visualize high-quality advanced stereoscopic 3D environments across multiple devices, including enabled desktop monitors and multi-projector wall displays.

LightWave 11.6 is a free upgrade to version 11. A full new licence costs US$1,495 (around £972).

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