Not only shape, but also color, material and finish. If any product designer can tell you that prototyping the shape of a new design with 3D printing is pretty easy, accurately simulating color, material and finish, or “CMF,” can take serious time and money. Not anymore.
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.
US-based product development company, Priority Designs, was a beta user of the new KeyShot 10 capabilities using the recently-launched office-friendly J55 3D printer. Erik Fickas, senior industrial designer, said:
“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. 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 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.
In addition, 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; finally, Priority Designs shared its story on using the new KeyShot functionality in a new online video.