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Aaron Pearson
Vice President of Public Relations
An integral part of the product design process, color can create or strengthen brand connection, emotional response, and design intent. Because consumers respond to strong, consistent color choices in products, a product’s color palette needs to be explored and fine-tuned throughout the design process, not just at the end.

Color consistency in the digital world.

As designers increasingly take advantage of CAD, which allows for cheaper and faster iterative designs, color needs to be represented both digitally and physically. The transition from screen to physical prototype can create issues with color verification and consistency, such as when printed colors appear different than the colors on the screen.

Like regular 2D printing, 3D printing in full color requires a “translation” from the RGB color gamut on screen to the CMYK colors used by the printer. Designers don’t always have extra time to spend printing sample color chips, matching up RGB colors with Hex codes, and generating soft proofs. However, even small color inconsistencies across iterations can cause miscommunication and make approvals more difficult.

Data-driven color solutions.

To ensure color consistency across product development, many brands rely on third party partners to define and manage color profiles. X-Rite is one of the most well-known Color and Print Quality Programs, and professionals rely on its data-driven color calibration to ensure their colors are precise, consistent, and repeatable. The company, which owns Pantone®, helps its customers streamline their workflow, eliminate variability, and get the color results they expect.

Many multimaterial printers at Stratasys are already Pantone® Validated, which means that Stratasys CMYK colors can be matched to almost 2,000 printable Pantone colors. Now that process is even easier with X-Rite-based color profiles available in GrabCAD Print.

Several ICC standard rendering intents are available to ensure the printed color is what you intended, and the simple, digital workflow means it’s easier to keep colors consistent for future prints. The color profiles also reduce the need for physical proof matching, eliminating human error from the process. Going all digital makes communication easier and preserves color integrity at each step.

To learn more about X-Rite color profiles for 3D printing, check out this blog post on the GrabCAD website.