At this point Photoshop has an almost ubiquitous presence on the computer of photographers and artists of all walks of life, and has become so associated with photography that “photoshop” has become a verb. It is pretty easy to see why when Photoshop can do just about anything, from being used to paint, draw, edit photos, edit film and even build 3D models for animation. And with the growing popularity of 3D printing Adobe has recently started to add support for managing and printing 3D files, although many feel that they have been a little slow in doing so.
At this weeks 3D Printshow in London Adobe is hoping to put those feelings to rest with the announcements of several new features that can fully integrate Photoshop CC into your 3D printing workflow. Among the new features are the ability to save and export files as either a 3D PDF file or SVX format allowing 3D printer manufacturers and service providers to streamline and simplify their 3D printing workflows. The new Print to PDF feature will automatically verify and repair any 3D model sent through the 3D printing pipeline before converting it into PDF format.
Making their photo editing suite of software 3D printer friendly and creating their own 3D printable file format and fully integrating it into their software is a clear attempt to remove competing software developers. Specifically Microsoft and Autodesk and their new 3D printing file format .3MF and the 3MF Consortium that was announced a few weeks ago. This could be the beginning of the 3D printing industry’s very own VHS versus Beta battle for an industry standard 3D printing file format.
Adobe is also including native support for 3D printing service provider network 3D Hubs, one of the largest networks of 3D printers is the world. Users would be able to send a 3D printable file directly to 3D Hubs and receive an instant price estimate from any available 3D printer on the network. This is similar to the integrated Shapeways support in Autodesk 123D, however users will be supporting local 3D printing services rather than a single provider.
Photoshop CC will also be adding support for Tinkerine Ditto Pro 3D printers by downloading a plugin for the printer. Adobe already supports several 3D printer manufacturers, including several models of the MakerBot Replicator, ZCorp color 3D printers and Mcor’s IRIS 3D printer. Once the plugin has been installed users will be able to 3D print directly to their Ditto Pro from Photoshop.
The 3D Hubs feature will be available in the next software update for Photoshop Creative Cloud that is currently due in June. The rest of the features have not had specific release dates announced, however, since Adobe is already showing them off it is reasonable to expect that they will be coming very soon. Only time will tell if this attempt to put their name on 3D printing is too little too late, or if their already massive existing user base will make Microsoft and Autodesk’s .3MF the odd man out. Let us know what you think in our New Adobe Photoshop CC 3D Printing Features forum on 3DPB.com.