x rite

Ensuring colour integrity: X-Rite.

aaron pearson
Aaron Pearson August 03, 2020
August 03, 2020
An integral part of the product design process, colour can create or strengthen brand connection, emotional response, and design intent. Because consumers respond to strong, consistent colour choices in products, a product’s colour palette needs to be explored and fine-tuned throughout the design process, not just at the end.

Colour consistency in the digital world.

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

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

Data-driven colour solutions.

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

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

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

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