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Stratasys to enhance full-color, multi-material 3D printing with KeyShot launch

Stratasys announced full KeyShot 10 rendering software integration with its J55 and J8 series printers, which allows the systems to accurately simulate color, material and finish in prototypes. The J55 and J8 are full-color and multi-material printers that have only been limited by design inputs. Luxion’s KeyShot software, which supports the new 3MF file format, can produce ready-to-print files with accurate colors and bump/displacement maps to three-dimensionally simulate textures like fabric and wood. Additional enhancements are planned for 2021.

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. “We were able to put automatic UV Unwrapping, baking and file packaging all in one step, allowing easy, fast, and intuitive 3D printing with next-generation full CMF printers such as the J55,” said Luxion Vice President of Product and Strategy, Derek Cicero. “We are proud to embrace 3MF with Stratasys as an industry-backed, open format, containing data about colors, textures and other key manufacturing information, making it a huge step up from STL.”

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.

Priority Designs, a US-based product development company, was a beta user of the new KeyShot 10 capabilities using the recently-launched office-friendly J55 3D printer. Erik Fickas, a senior industrial designer, said the speed and simplicity with which they can 3D print a collection of design options is completely new.

“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. 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 the 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 the 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.”

Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

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