Adobe adds easy 3D printing to Photoshop CC

Adobe has announced that Photoshop CC will be updated to include 3D printing controls. The update aims to add more options to 3D design while also making printing much simpler.

Photoshop CC, the Creative Cloud application, will offer enhanced 3D object manipulation options. These will allow users to do three key things: import 3D print files and add colour, turn a photo into a 3D object for printing, and create 3D objects from scratch. All of which can be printed on your local 3D printer, or online via companies like Shapeways, at a click of the print button.

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Adobe is confident that Photoshop CC will also intelligently correct any errors in the mesh so that printing will work first time. If you've used a 3D printer you'll know mistakes do happen which are both financially annoying and time consuming.

Another automation from Photoshop CC is the integration of scaffolding to hold up overhanging parts that need support while being printed. These appear automatically where needed and can be changed as required.

Photoshop has been capable of 3D renders for many years, so this is just another layer. This update is not aimed at competing with CAD design software, but is more of a finishing tool. Models can be brought into Photoshop to add colours or design tweaks, then hitting print is all it takes to bring it into the physical world.

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Photoshop CC will be able to import multiple 3D print files including OBJ, STL, 3DS, COLLADA and KMZ. You can even upload a photo and Photoshop will create a 3D render which, when hung in front of light, creates a nice depth effect.

Adobe has partnerships with MakerBot and Shapeways so all colours and materials are natively supported within Photoshop CC. But sharing is still possible thanks to SketchPad via the Adobe Behance community. Adobe assures us that Photoshop will adapt to print on whatever printer is connected.

The 3D printing update is available today via the Creative Cloud as a free update to Photoshop CC.