Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Mimaki Integrates Fraunhofer’s Cuttlefish 3D Printer Driver into 3DUJ-553 Systems

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

Created by the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD (Germany) as advanced slicer software meant to control a variety of different hardware, Cuttlefish is a 3D printer driver that allows users to create complex, color prints. Now 3D printer manufacturer Mimaki--headquartered in Atlanta–is integrating Cuttlefish into their 3DUJ-553 systems, expanding their interfaces further, and giving access to even more users in need of the advantages of a universal printer driver.

The Cuttlefish driver is a unique innovation for 3D printers that not only translates data for both 3D scans and 3D models created by design software, but also offers a wide range of features to include:

  • Support of Stratasys Polyjet 3D printers also
  • Ability to use multiple materials at the same time
  • Exact reproduction of geometry
  • Reproduction of colors and fine color transitions
  • Simulation of the finished product on screen

(Image: Cuttlefish)

The Cuttlefish software is highly adaptable, also offering a calibrated color profile and translucency. The ability to switch between printers is made easy for users also:

“The combination of 3DUJ-553 and Cuttlefish will greatly expand the possibilities of full color 3D printing, which is something we will continue to support,” said Mimaki’s General Manager of 3D Project Research and Development, Masakatsu Okawa, in explaining the decision to open the interfaces to Fraunhofer IGD, while providing color value continuity, translucent design processing, and geometric accuracy.

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer (Image: Mimaki)

RGBA textures (red, breen, blue, and alpha channels) are supported by Cuttlefish, with color and translucency data from opaque in color to completely transparent—allowing for seamless printing with transparent materials.

The versatile and multi-faceted driver also allows users to create numerous models that are overlapping, making note of how ‘an object scatters light,’ along with changes in both color and surface due to lighting variations. In emphasizing the potential for the use of Cuttlefish not only in industrial venues overall but specific applications like medicine, the driver was used to make a medical model sample demonstrating anatomy, made up of 28 parts overall.

Transparent parts of the model were generated by simply modifying the RGBA data. 3D models based on RGBA data are supported by standard 3D file formats and most design and texturing tools. Even established image processing programs such as Adobe Photoshop can work with RGBA textures. This makes Cuttlefish an all-purpose tool in professional 3D printing that closes the gap in quality between virtual design and its reproduction as a 3D print,” stated the two companies in a recent press release sent to 3DPrint.com.

Below are specs on the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer:

  • Photorealistic output with over 10 million colors and a true ICC color profile workflow
  • Water-soluble support material for quick and simple model finishing
  • 20 Micron minimum layer thickness
  • Large 20″ x 20″ x 12″ (500 x 500 x 300mm) build area
  • CMYK, White, and Clear inks
  • Mix Clear and CMYK inks to achieve transparent color effects

The Fraunhofer ILT is a massive and dynamic organization. Today, Fraunhofer ILT serves as a part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft—comprised of over 26,600 employees, 72 institutes, and an impressive budget of 2.6 billion euros.

Over time we have reported on their progress from 3D screen printing of metals to development of new 3D printers, materials, and more—as well as other companies that have used their Cuttlefish driver, like Laika Studio.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Fraunhofer IGD/Mimaki]

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Briefs, January 15, 2022: 3D Laser Printing, Housing, & More

Three New 3D Printing Projects from ASTM Funded by America Makes



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: January 9, 2022

After a long break, we’re back with our first 3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup of 2022! Things are starting back up a little slowly, with less than ten webinars...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 1st, 2022: CES 2022, Standards, Business, & More

Happy New Year! We’re starting with this week’s CES 2022 in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, then moving on to a new AM standard and business news from Roboze and...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: December 12, 2021

As we get closer to the end of 2021, it seems like the number of webinars and events are slowing down ever so slightly. But we still have plenty to...

ICAM 2021: Keynotes on 3D Printing in Healthcare & Aerospace

At last month’s International Conference on Additive Manufacturing (ICAM) 2021 in Anaheim, California, hosted by ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCOE), a wide variety of topics were covered,...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.