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3D printed speaker.

KeyShot rendering software helps streamline 3D printing workflow.

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Gina Scala November 15, 2020
November 15, 2020
Many designers take advantage of the ease and speed of 3D printing to produce single-color models for design verification and early-stage prototypes. Creating these single-color, single material models is relatively straightforward, but 3D printing accurate, full CMF models has always been more of a challenge. Designers who are already benefiting from full CMF today have traditionally relied on STL file types that don’t carry color or texture data, which means hours of redoing work before the file is ready for printing.

Not anymore. Thanks to the latest KeyShot 10 3D rendering software and the Stratasys PolyJet printers like the J55™ and J8 Series™, designers can simply click and print.
Priority Designs team working on 3D printed prototypes.

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 PANTONE™ Validated colors, bump mapping, and the ability to simulate textures like fabric, wood, and glass.

Columbus, Ohio-based Priority Designs was an early adopter of the office-friendly J55, and was one of the first companies to test out the new KeyShot 10 workflow. According to Senior Industrial Designer Eric Fickas, the 3MF compatibility enables a newly fast and simple prototyping workflow.

Image of speaker prototype in Keyshot software.

“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.”

The 3MF 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. With KeyShot and 3MF support, designers can reduce the time it takes just to 3D model a high-fidelity prototype by 50%. Most industrial design firms today would use traditional modeling shops for these final iterations, which can take from one to three weeks. The new workflow enables the CMF design phase to start earlier in the design process, reducing risk and helping bring new products to market faster.

3D printed speaker.

“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. “Our customers are now gaining an incredible strategic advantage with KeyShot support in our PolyJet 3D printers compared to designers who are only using 3D printing for concept designs and turning to slower and expensive model shops for detailed designs.”

While other 3D printing companies provide support for the 3MF model, Stratasys is the only company offering a PANTONE Validated™, full color, multi-material 3D printer that can take full advantage of the 3MF format’s capabilities.

Watch Senior Industrial Designer Eric Fickas demonstrate the capabilities of the J55 and KeyShot here.

Request a sample and see the difference for yourself.