Photoshop Now Supports 3D Printing

Photoshop, one of the most widely-adopted pieces of photo editing software, announced an update today that will support 3D printing. The tool is designed to make it easy for most anyone to edit and print a model. Right now, it’s better suited to putting the finishing touches on an object rather than building it from the ground up, but Photoshop has always been an editing tool at heart, so it’s what users are already accustomed to.

From a more technical standpoint, Photoshop will automatically generate temporary supports under the object to ensure that it won’t fall over while it’s being printed, and it’s partnering with MakerBot and Shapeways to generate real-time previews of how the object will look. It will also adjust the object for the printer that it’s being printed on to get the best possible output. For Shapeways, the made-to-order 3D printing service, there’s a drop-down menu to select Shapeways, and the object will be sent off to be printed in whatever material you select – even solid metal, if you want – and mailed to you thereafter. Photoshop will even estimate how much the service will cost. It’s an even larger indication that 3D printing is slowly working its way into mainstream consciousness – and markets. 

Stratasys Acquires MakerBot

Stratasys announced that it has acquired MakerBot in a deal that is reportedly worth $403 million, based on the current share value of Stratasys. This brings together a 3D printing leader and an emerging competitor in desktop 3D printing, and should drive adoption of the medium across the board. It also signals an immediate 3D printing juggernaut that could dominate the industry for years to come, before it has even truly taken off. MakerBot will continue to operate as separate from Stratasys as part of the deal, but it will be a subsidiary of Stratasys and will serve the consumer and desktop market while Stratasys continues to focus on its industrial placements.