Adobe Brings 3D Printing To Photoshop Masses

Adobe Systems has decided it is time to back the 3D printing trend; the firm has added support for the technology as part of  a major upgrade to its Adobe Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud), a  subscription-based service.

Partnership Deal

Adobe has also partnered with Shapeways and MakerBot, so it now has inbuilt support for MakerBot Replicator’s 3D printers, as well as for the full range of materials such as ceramics, metals, and full colour sandstone, that is available on Shapeways (an online 3D printing marketplace and community).

Adobe said it is aiming to “radically simplifying the 3D print process,” so that Photoshop CC “will become the go-to tool for anyone who wants to print a 3D model,” either direct to their 3D print, or via an online 3D print service.

Subscribers to Adobe Creative Cloud are therefore now able to build, refine, preview, prepare and print 3D designs. Designers and artists can also design in 3D from scratch, or simply refine an existing 3D model. This will allow them to produce print-ready 3D models using familiar Photoshop tools, says the company. Adobe has also added useful features such as automated mesh repair and support structure generation to aid in the construction of 3D objects.

“The new 3D print capabilities in Photoshop CC take the guess work out of printing 3D models for everyone,” said Winston Hendrickson, VP products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “Before today there was a gap between the content produced by 3D modeling tools and what 3D printers need in order to deliver high quality results. Now, by simply clicking ‘Print’ in Photoshop CC, creatives can bring 3D designs to the physical world.”

“By teaming up with Adobe, we’re making it easy for designers and creatives to turn ideas into reality, using Shapeway’s highest quality 3D printing technologies,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO and Co-Founder, Shapeways.

“With the huge adoption of Adobe Photoshop CC, this announcement means that a massive influx of people will now have access to 3D modeling tools,” added Bre Pettis, CEO, MakerBot. “I can’t wait to see what they design with Photoshop CC and create with their MakerBot Replicator 3D printer!”

CC Upgrade

Besides the addition of 3D printing support, Adobe has revealed a major upgrade of its Creative Cloud service. New features in Photoshop CC include Perspective Warp, which changes the viewpoint from which an object is seen, and linked Smart Objects that is said to improve collaboration (for example, updating the final design automatically if the reference file is changed).

Adobe Illustrator CC and InDesign CC have also been tweaked, and now allow designers to “seamlessly connect” to the Adobe Typekit font service.

Going Mainstream

Last month analyst house IDC said that the 3D printing market was in position to move from being a niche sector to become a mainstream segment.

It apparently expects the market to see “tremendous unit and revenue growth” from 2012 to 2017, with compound annual growth rates of 29 percent and 59 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile earlier this month at the CES show, MakerBot revealed its fifth generation of 3D printers, which it intends to ‘lead the next industrial revolution’ and bring 3D printing into people’s homes and offices.

Think you know all about 3D printing? Try our 3D printing quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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