August 7, 2014
As the use of 3D printing continues to spread, users will need access to a variety of support systems to assist them with design or printing. Printing service bureaus have continued to crop up all across the web and increasingly in brick and mortar form as well. You can also find a variety of 3D design applications online, but one that may people will be familiar with is Photoshop.
In January, Adobe began offering support for 3D design in Photoshop CC. Now, the company is expanding its additive manufacturing (AM) toolset, as well as increasing the number of service bureaus and AM manufacturers supported by the software.
The expanded options for 3D printers adds 5th generation MakerBot Replicators to the list of supported systems, which already included Solidoodle, 3D Systems Cube and Mcor Iris. Available service bureaus have increased form just Shapeways at release to include Sculpteo and DMM.com (a Japanese company).
Photoshop CC has expanded the range of file formats that can be written and read, including VRML, U3D, PLY, and IGES. The update offers users the option of printing multiple objects in a single print job. According to Adobe, the update also increases AM workflow.
“The 3D printing features in Adobe Photoshop CC unifies what used to take us roughly 15 steps in several different programs into one easy-to-use program—condensing our workflow significantly,” said Bradley Rothenberg, co-founder of a namesake studio focused on 3D printed textiles, jewelry, and accessories. “Our experience with using Photoshop in 2D is something we can easily leverage now with 3D models, which is incredibly helpful, and these latest features and enhancements will make it even better.”
While the updates are no doubt welcome, it seems to me that Adobe is in danger of missing the 3D printed boat. Adding new AM systems every six months or so is too slow. The company really needs to develop the tools to allow its program to work with any new AM system.
Below you’ll find an introduction to making 3D designs in Photoshop CC.