Stratasys’ J750 and J735 3D printers have been validated as meeting Pantone color-matching standards.
There aren’t currently a lot of color options available in 3D printing. More are coming to the market, and those already commercialized continue to see enhancements to performance. Those enhancements have the benefit of actual market experience in being able to respond to actual user demand to meet actual needs for usage.
What there are a lot of, though, is issues. While consumers may not always pay attention to the exact shades of their favorite brands, these shades are very carefully formulated and controlled. If 3D printing — especially full-color 3D printing — is to truly take its place in standard manufacturing workflows, these colors need to be addressed.
Some 3D printing-focused solutions are already on the market to meet the exacting needs of color matching, but for the most part these come in materials formulated to RAL standards or post-processing in RAL and Pantone colors. Pantone is perhaps the best-known authority for professional color standards, and a new agreement is bringing that validation straight to the Stratasys J750 and J735 PolyJet systems.
The Pantone Validated qualifier designates Pantone’s approval “to simulate Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors on printed objects,” standing up to color quality and realism standards.
These 3D printers are put to use in areas where slight variations in color would be noticed — think close-up shots of 3D printed faces in the next LAIKA film, or business usage for functional and perfectly matching prototypes.
“The Stratasys J750 and J735 have built a reputation as the most powerful color 3D printers on the market today – pushing the boundaries of part and prototype realism. Our agreement with Pantone takes this one step further. When you align the leader in 3D printing with the industry authority on professional color standards, designers can innovate, build and create the most realistic 3D printed prototypes faster than ever before. Together, we’re setting new standards for what’s possible in color rapid prototyping,” Hadas Schragenheim, Rapid Prototyping Manager, Stratasys, tells Fabbaloo of the new agreement.
Pantone functionality is expected to hit GrabCAD Print, assigning and applying colors to models easily, this summer. Stratasys calls it an easy “choose-and-print” color-matching process.
For Pantone, the agreement brings their color-matching capabilities into another dimension. The Pantone Validated designation is a mark of trust for industrial users, and bringing that into 3D printing is a strong move into new ways of making.
“Pantone maintains a relentless focus on providing physical and digital design solutions that are aligned with the way modern designers work. Given the innovative applications of 3D printing in design, prototyping and production workflows, Stratasys is a natural partner-of-choice. Together, we’re ensuring designers and manufacturers can leverage advanced 3D Printing technologies to create the most vibrant and color-correct 3D printed prototypes the market has ever seen – and with confidence that simulated Pantone colors reflect the design intent,” said Iain Pike, Director of Partner Business Development for Pantone.
Characteristically for Stratasys, this isn’t the company’s only announcement this week. Rounding out announcements for new FDM and SLA 3D printers, including a major materials partnership, today’s PolyJet focus shows more progress on the multi-material side of the portfolio.