Ever since Photoshop introduced 3D printer support I’ve been hooked on 3D printing. Some of my recent experiments included text extrusions, phone cases, and a dragon. While these are cool, I still wanted to kick it up a notch or two. Those models were all printed using plastic materials, and I’ve been wanting to try out a few other other materials, in particular metal. So in honor of Photoshop World coming up next week, I decided to design and print a Photoshop themed belt buckle in raw stainless steel, and it turned out AMAZING! Far better than I had hoped.
I chose stainless steel because I wanted a minimalistic/industrial look for the belt buckle. The process was actually quite easy. I took a vector Photoshop logo in Illustrator, copied the PS and the square border, and pasted it into Photoshop. Then I extruded it into a 3D object, added a flattened cube on the back, and used cylinder and sphere primitives to create the belt loop and pin. Seriously, this was the complete process. I’m not over-simplifying things. Check out the video below to see a timelapse recreating this model entirely in Photoshop.
When you are creating 3D models, just be sure to pay attention to the object’s physical dimensions in the 3D Properties Coordinates panel. Set the units to a physical unit of measurement (I chose Centimeters), and create your objects using the exact physical print size. Also, it’s important to know the physical characteristics and limitations of your target materials, including minimum wall thickness, minimum wire thickness, embossing depth, clearance, etc… Design within these parameters for best results.
Once you’re ready to print, just select your print target and material in the 3D Print settings panel. Then send it to print using the 3D->3D Print… menu. If you’re using the Shapeways 3D printing service you’ll then be redirected to upload your model and complete the print order.
A few days later, your print will arrive in your mailbox. However, do not forget to double check your print volume/dimensions after you’ve uploaded your STL to Shapeways. I noticed that some of the minimum thickness checks made the pin too thick, so I generated the STL file for a plastic material, then chose the metal material when actually ordering the print through Shapeways.
I’m really happy with how this turned out, and yes, I’m wearing this belt buckle right now.
All of this was created in it’s entirety using Creative Cloud. Join now if you haven’t already become a member! If you’re going to be at Photoshop World next week in Atlanta, stop by to check it out and learn more!
3D printing has the potential to completely change how people create physical objects. It enables faster prototyping and iteration in design and manufacturing, enables new forms of artistry and jewelry, and even has applications in medicine. If you haven’t checked out 3D printing yet, you really should do yourself a favor and give it a few minutes of your time.
My second article on aerial imaging with a remote controlled helicopter is now live in the March 2014 issue of Adobe Inspire! The first article focused on aerial videography and Adobe video tools. This time it’s all about aerial photography with a GoPro camera and DJI Phantom (and how to bring these images to life with Photoshop and Lightroom).
What makes a great composition in Photoshop? Well, that all depends on what you’re trying to achieve and personal taste – I won’t even attempt to answer that.
What makes a composition believable? That one is a little bit easier… We’ve all seen bad Photoshop jobs – you know, those where colors are way off, lighting is terrible, or edges are left jagged and pixellated. For the most part, I’d attribute a believable Photoshop composition to having qualities that mimic realism. Consistent use of colors, none of those jagged edges, appropriate use of shadows and lighting, proper perspectives, and most importantly, attention to detail.
Not quite sure what I mean? Check out these examples of some inspiring and impressive Photoshop compositions…
The latest release of Photoshop has some amazing new features, one of which is 3D printer support. The new 3D printer support makes printing your 3D models easier, regardless of whether you modeled it within Photoshop or some other 3D modeling tool. Photoshop will even inspect your 3D models for water tightness and generate support scaffolding to ensure a high quality 3D print.
Photoshop now supports local 3D printers from Makerbot and 3D Systems, but if you don’t have a 3D printer, don’t worry, you can still print 3D objects! Through a partnership between Adobe and Shapeways, you can now package 3D prints and send them to Shapeways’ 3D printing service directly from Photoshop.
I started out by creating a few simple models and downloading existing models from the web. Check out the video below to learn more and see 3D features within Photoshop in action.
All of my 3D printing so far has been through the Shapeways service. This service will automatically inspect your 3D models for thickness/printability, and gives you immediate feedback whether or not you need to make any changes. Be sure to pay attention to the details of Shapeways’ materials, since they have different characteristics, minimum thicknesses, and associated cost. Once your object is printed, it will be mailed right to your doorstep.
My first example is a 3D printed name plate, modeled entirely within Photoshop. I took a text layer, extruded it into a 3D object, then added a cube (stretched to the size of the text) as a base. Just request a 3D print, and out comes a nice 3D model. This one is the “Coral Red Strong & Flexible Polished” material from Shapeways. Check out the video above for details on how I created this.
My second example is a dragon, which I downloaded from a free 3D models site. This model was not created in Photoshop. I believe this model was originally intended for video games or renderings, but Photoshop had no problem scaling and printing it. Photoshop can read many common 3D model formats (.obj, .3ds, .dae, etc…), and makes the printing process simple, regardless of where the model was created.
I had to go through a few iterations to find a material and size that was actually printable because the model is very intricate and delicate, but I was finally able print it using the “White Strong & Flexible” material.
If you’re wondering “did those cost a fortune”, the answer is NO! The cost depends on type and amount of material you’ve selected. The dragon was $32.65, and the “Adobe” letters were $24.90 USD, including shipping.
Ready to create your own 3D prints yet? Check out the videos below to learn more about 3D printing with Adobe Photoshop CC.
Overview of 3D Printing in Photoshop
Creating a custom iPhone Case with Adobe Photoshop
If you’re already a member of Creative Cloud, then you have everything you need to create your own 3D prints with Photoshop. Just download the latest version, and you’re ready to go! If you’re not already a member of Creative Cloud, then become a member today!