First Stratasys-certified colour and texture mapping training expert at Laser Lines
Laser Lines’ Peter Smith has become the first UK Stratasys reseller employee to be awarded the certificate of achievement for both ‘colour texturing expert training’ and ‘colour for J-series training’ in the UK.
Peter is a Product Specialist in the 3D printing & AM systems business unit at Laser Lines. He has worked in the field of colour control and colour measurement for many years, previously working at X-Rite/Pantone before joining Laser Lines.
He says: “As in the world of 2D printing, there are similar issues with proofing in the 3D world. To get the best results out of your 3D printer, you need to be able to profile the way the machine produces colour.
“The human eye has a wide colour gamut. If you are looking at something on a screen which uses RGB colour reproduction, some colours will not be represented. When output to a printer using CMYKW, the available gamut is restricted further. It is therefore important to manage how colour is displayed and printed to achieve the visually realistic models, for which the Stratasys J-Series 3D printers are renowned.
“The world of colour has its own terms, language, numbers and acronyms, so I decided to do this course to be able to support our customers in how to get the most out of J-Series 3D printers. You can continually learn about colour and with new technologies emerging, it is always a fast-moving and interesting space.”
Globally, the Pantone Matching System is the most widely used colour communication tool used by designers to ensure their concepts are reproduced accurately when shared around the world between clients.
The Stratasys J-Series printers are the only 3D printers in the world certified by Pantone, using the Pantone Matching System (PMS) to ensure that designers’ ideas are faithfully reproduced in prototype parts. Realistic prototype parts such as these mean that decisions based on them are more valid and the risk making wrong choices is eliminated.
Using the Colourpicker in the system, users can profile the printer to get a match to the colour they want. But this is much easier to do with a colour expert on hand. Peter will be working in pre-sales to ensure that the right 3D printer is chosen to meet customers’ colour needs. For existing customers, he is on hand to help them get the most out of their investment.
For users who want to create realistic parts, Peter is now on hand to help achieve this with advice on texture mapping functionality on the J-Series.
If for example, you want to have a wood finish on a completed part, you are now able to take a photo of the woodgrain and then map this on to the part’s geometry. Customers who are producing parts or prototypes that require lots of different finishes can now achieve this with a much simpler process. Multiple design iterations can be printed in a single run, reducing the design cycle time and time to market.
Peter adds: “Say for example, you wanted to see what a new car dashboard would look like – you might have a leather effect, some plastic, some metal highlights, a carbon fibre weave effect and a walnut trim.
“In the past, all of these separate parts would have been sent off to different part shops for making a prototype. This can now be simulated with texture mapping where all of the different, visually realistic finishes can be applied to the same part before being printed as a whole component.”
Peter attended the in-depth courses at Stratasys’ Rheinmunster facility in Germany and is now back in the UK and available to share his knowledge with existing and new Stratasys J-Series 3D printing customers.
Peter adds: “The J735 and J750 have now been superseded by the current J series (the J826, J835 and J850), but the applications of colour proofing, profiling and texture wrapping still apply to the older models.”