Almost any product designer will tell you that prototyping the shape of a new design with 3D printing is pretty easy. But accurately simulating color, material and finish, or "CMF," can take serious time and money. Not anymore. Thanks to the latest KeyShot 10 3D rendering software and Stratasys Ltd.'s (SSYS) - Get Stratasys Ltd. Report J55™ and J8 Series 3D printers, it's little more than just click and print.
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Designers can now 3D print in full color and textures like wood right from KeyShot software to Stratasys PolyJet printers. (Photo: Business Wire)
The full-color, multi-material Stratasys 3D printers and the latest version of KeyShot from Luxion both now support the new 3MF file format, a significant improvement over legacy STL, OBJ, and VRML files. By saving designs to 3MF, KeyShot 10 produces files ready for printing, with accurate colors and bump/displacement maps to three-dimensionally simulate textures like fabric and wood. Additional enhancements are planned for 2021.
Columbus, Ohio-based Priority Designs was a beta user of the new KeyShot 10 capabilities using the office-friendly J55 3D printer. Erik Fickas, senior industrial designer, said the speed and simplicity with which they can 3D print a collection of design options is completely new.
"We developed this Bluetooth speaker model and used KeyShot to add all the textures like the speaker grill, then just saved to the new 3MF file format for 3D printing," Fickas said. "Overnight, we had five different models with five different wood samples and different fabric samples. To rapid prototype a wood texture would have been a heck of a lot of work. It's really incredible what we can do now."
Stratasys estimates that 3MF support with KeyShot can reduce 3D print modeling time of CMF models to a single day, while traditional modeling for final iterations can take from one to three weeks. The new workflow enables the CMF design phase to start earlier in the design process, helping bring new products to market faster, and also keeps modeling in-house to reduce risk of intellectual property loss.
"The J55 made true full-color, multi-material 3D printing accessible to design studios everywhere, but to fully transform how products are designed, we needed to make the whole workflow simple," said Stratasys Vice President of Design Shamir Shoham. "Adding KeyShot support in our PolyJet 3D printers adds an additional advantage compared to designers who are only using 3D printing for concept designs and turning to slower and expensive traditional models for detailed designs."
Luxion refined the new KeyShot 10 Smart Export functionality to improve the simplicity of 3D printing with Stratasys, working with some of the companies' shared customers. "We were able to put automatic UV Unwrapping, baking and file packaging all in one step, allowing easy, fast, and intuitive 3D printing with next generation full CMF printers such as the J55," said Luxion Vice President of Product and Strategy Derek Cicero. "We are proud to embrace 3MF with Stratasys as an industry-backed, open format, containing data about colors, textures and other key manufacturing information, making it a huge step up from STL."
3MF is an increasingly popular open-source file format published by the 3MF Consortium, of which Stratasys is a leading member. The format improves workflow because it includes all model information in one package, even down to voxel level control of the interior and metadata of the model. While other 3D printing companies provide support for the 3MF model, Stratasys is the only company providing a PANTONE-Validated™ full color, multi-material 3D printer that can take full advantage of the 3MF format's capabilities. In addition to KeyShot, Stratasys also provides 3MF support for a variety of other applications, including SOLIDWORKS®.
More information on 3D printing with the 3MF format on the J55 and J8 Series printers is available online. Priority Designs shared its story on using the new KeyShot functionality in a new online video.
Stratasys is a global leader in additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology and is the manufacturer of FDM ®, PolyJet™, and stereolithography 3D printers. The company's technologies are used to create prototypes, manufacturing tools, and production parts for industries, including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, consumer products and education. For more than 30 years, Stratasys products have helped manufacturers reduce product-development time, cost, and time-to-market, as well as reduce or eliminate tooling costs and improve product quality. The Stratasys 3D printing ecosystem of solutions and expertise includes 3D printers, materials, software, expert services, and on-demand parts production. Online at: www.stratasys.com.
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Stratasys, PolyJet Technology, and J55 are trademarks of Stratasys Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners, and Stratasys assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of these non-Stratasys products.
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