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Photoshop adds 3D-printing support, with MakerBot and Shapeways integration

Photoshop adds 3D-printing support, with MakerBot and Shapeways integration

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Adobe is stepping into 3D printing today with a new update to Photoshop CC. It's adding in a new 3D-printing tool meant to make it easy for anyone to take a model, put some finishing touches on it, and get it printed. That's exactly how Adobe sees Photoshop being used for 3D printing too — less as a creation tool, and more as a way to put polish on an existing project.

Though Photoshop already includes some 3D modeling features, Adobe doesn't expect most of its users to start building objects from the ground up. Instead, this printing support is meant to make Photoshop a better option for users who are just trying to touch up and print a preexisting model. There's enough there to let users tweak and paint their models, and now Adobe says it'll be simple to print them too.

Photoshop generates a preview specific to MakerBot and Shapeways printers

Adobe is adding several features to make printing a model easy. Users won't have to worry about their model falling apart, because Photoshop will automatically generate temporary supports beneath and around their model to make sure that it doesn't collapse during printing. It's also partnering with MakerBot and Shapeways so that Photoshop can automatically generate previews of how a model will look when it's made by any given one of their printers. A printer-specific preview will also be available for 3D Systems' Cube printer, and others will be added in on an ongoing basis.

The integration is particularly useful for outputting to Shapeways, a made-to-order 3D-printing service. From inside of Photoshop, you'll be able to see what a printed model should look like when it's made with any of Shapeways' materials, from colored sandstone to solid bronze. The app will even estimate how much the print job will cost.

Because Photoshop CC is part of Adobe's subscription service, this update comes at no added cost to subscribers and will be made available for download today. A number of other features are being added in as well, including a tool called Perspective Warp that Adobe says can automatically correct for perspective distortion when you're manipulating objects within an image, or even let you alter the angle from which a photo was taken.