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Color 3D printing showed its promise years ago. But there was a gap between promise and bloom. Early color 3D prints had color, sure, yet they lacked the vibrancy of a Cassius Marcellus Coolidge oil. Often parts were paint-by-numbers garish or dreary like the piping on a frozen cake. Objet multi-material, multi-color 3D printers from Stratasys changed that for the better with bright, deep colors. Today’s Pick of the Week, however, is about the blossoming of color 3D printing with the subtleties of color and texture that can turn heads.

The elevator speech is that Stratasys has partnered with Adobe to bring Adobe’s color management expertise to Objet Connex3 3D printers and clients of the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing parts on-demand service. The form of this technology partnership is Stratasys Creative Colors software, and the Objet Connex3 is currently the only 3D printer series with Adobe Color management benefits, according to Stratasys.

prototype of a stereo speaker

This working prototype of a stereo speaker was produced on an Objet Connex3 series 3D printer using Stratasys Creative Colors software, which leverages the Adobe 3D color print engine. Image courtesy of Stratasys Ltd. and Business Wire.

Stratasys Creative Colors creates a direct connection between Adobe Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) digital imaging software and an Objet Connex3 3D printer. It works with Objet Studio software for prepping files for 3D printing, and it now comes bundled with the Objet Connex3 series. You can add it to existing units.

So, what’s in Stratasys Creative Colors for you?
First, Stratasys Creative Colors offers a direct design-to-3D-print workflow: You open a design in Photoshop CC, add colors and textures, color preview your work, export and print. Next, the Adobe 3D print engine gives you gradient color palettes with expanded color spectrums, textures and pattern support. The Objet Connex3 gives you the ability to mix multiple polymer materials and colors in a single part. Put that together and you can make 3D models and parts with a final product’s look and texture. Prototyping will never be the same.

Also no longer the same is Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. The direct link between Photoshop CC and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing extends the capabilities of Stratasys Creative Colors with functionality like direct price quoting, model validation and previewing.

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