Yes, you did read that correctly! It is possible to create 3D objects for 3D printing using Adobe Photoshop. It came as a bit of a surprise to me too. I suppose I have had my head buried in the more CAD approach of PTC Creo and Autodesk Inventor to notice that Photoshop has this capability.
So, how did I “discover” this capability? … Well this evening after school I had the pleasure of meeting up with some guys from Adobe (Senior Product Managers, Digital Imaging Architects and the like) together with one of the Directors of Bits from Bytes…. All to discuss 3D printing in education.
I suppose I really aught to apologise to everyone, our 1 hour meeting stretched to well over 2 hours and they had to travel up to Birmingham from the Bristol area afterwards, as usual my enthusiasm for this technology got the better of me and I bombarded these guys with examples of how we use our 3D printers and how this all fits into our D&T curriculum.
So, what’s next…. I really must find out more about how Adobe Photoshop works with 3D objects and see what can be done in schools as I can already see how a different approach (other than CAD software) could be useful for students designing in schools and colleges.
As most people who follow my escapades in 3D printing in education will have probably gathered I a great fan of the 3D Systems / Bits from Bytes machines… currently RapMan kits and the fantastic 3D Touch. But I Also keep an eye on what is happening in the 3D printing world in general. So unsurprisingly I came across Cubify and the Cube printer (unsurprisingly because it is part of the 3DS portfolio of machines). Anyway, one of the impressive things about Cubify is that they are supporting the use of their machines with web apps to generate parts that can be printed on any 3D printer (they export as .stl files).
At the present time there are web apps to create bracelets, earrings, tags, rings, defenders, UFO’s, robots, licences and crowns. The apps can be accessed here http://cubify.com/apps.aspx
Now I’m very keen for students to 3D print their own designs but the Cubify apps open up all sorts of new educational opportunities. Now students can easily customise basic designs using the apps that are very easy to use and then print their own ring, bracelet, tag etc. So exposure to 3D printing technology need not only be for those students who have a working knowledge of 3D CAD software! And of course this also means that we can capture these youngsters at an even younger age.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get the app to work on my iPad, so I’ll have to fire up my trusty old laptop and see how I get on with this. Hopefully in the near future I shall report back and share my experiences.