Two years ago, Fraunhofer IGD, an institute for applied research in visual computing-computer science based on images and 3D models, has introduced a Cuttlefish, a universal 3D printer driver which translates 3D scan data or 3D models generated by design and texturing software for 3D printers of various manufacturers.
The first applications shared at the time of the release were highly precise prints in the smallest of formats, achieved with Mimaki’s 3DUJ-553 3D printer. However, Fraunhofer IGD had also precised that the Cuttlefish 3D printer driver also supported Stratasys Polyjet 3D printers via the GrabCAD™ Voxel Print™ interface. To achieve this, the software was adapted to the specific features of the printer and an appropriately calibrated color profile, including translucency, was created.
As a reminder, multi-material PolyJet 3D printing can print up to eight materials in one work step. New improvements in the optimization of this software include the possibility to save costs while producing prints with better geometric and color accuracy.
Philipp Urban, Head of 3D Printing Technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD, explains the role played by Cuttlefish®: “When it’s an issue of optimization for mass production, specific color requests or degrees of translucency, nesting or individual color calibration, that’s where we come in.”
Interestingly, the 3D printer driver would be most efficient for universities and research institutes that use PolyJet printers as part of their projects. By using the plug-in functionality of Cuttlefish®, researchers could conveniently integrate their own methods and software components into the Cuttlefish® workflow. It means that researchers do not have to program everything themselves but can build on the expertise already available at Fraunhofer IGD. This makes Cuttlefish® an optimal basis for further research in the field of 3D printing.
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