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Printing a 3D File in Adobe Photoshop CC (2014 release)


  1. Specifying 3D print settings
  2. Exporting a 3D object

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2014 release) shows how you can create 3D objects in Photoshop—or import 3D objects that have been created elsewhere—and print them directly from Photoshop.
Exporting a 3D object

Exporting a 3D object

Printing a 3D object is a little more complicated than printing a two-dimensional image. It’s not that much more challenging for the person doing the printing, but Photoshop has to do a lot of behind-the-scenes calculations.

3D printers build objects from the bottom. If you’re printing a cube, for example, or another object with a significant base, the printer can create it without further support. However, many 3D objects are irregularly shaped, and the bottom of the object may actually be a set of disconnected surfaces. For example, think of a model of an animal. The bottom of the animal is composed of the four separate feet. In order to print such an object, the printer requires a support structure. That structure typically includes a raft, which provides a base to print from, and scaffolding, which supports portions of the object so they don’t collapse while the rest of the object is being printed.

When you choose 3D Print, Photoshop prepares the object for printing, and it calculates any necessary raft and scaffolding as well.

  1. Choose 3D > 3D Print, or click the Start Print button at the bottom of the Properties panel.
  2. Photoshop displays a progress bar as it prepares the print job.

  3. Click OK in the dialog box that informs you that the estimated price may differ from the final purchase price.
  4. In the Photoshop 3D Print Settings dialog box, review the estimated price and print size.
  5. Click options in the Preview area of the dialog box to see the size, shadows, raft, scaffolding, and other aspects of the job. This object requires no raft or scaffolding, so those options are dimmed.

    Use the 3D tools at the top of the dialog box to see your object from different angles.

    Printing prices vary dramatically depending on the material you choose. You can click Cancel, choose a different printer, and then let Photoshop calculate the price again. You’ve made no commitments at this point in the process.

  6. Click Export.
  7. Click Save in the Save dialog box.
  8. Photoshop saves the 3D print file information in the 15Working.psd file..

  9. When you’re prompted to upload your file to the Shapeways site for printing, click Yes to continue to the site, or click Cancel to stop the process.
  10. If you continue to the Shapeways site, sign in if you have an account, or create one if you don’t. (Creating an account is free.)
  11. When prompted, select the file you just saved. It will be in the Lesson15 folder, called 15Working.stl.zip. Then click Upload.
  12. Shapeways uploads and unzips the file. It displays the object and lists possible materials and their prices.

  13. Click Add To Cart next to the material you want to print, and then follow the onscreen instructions to place your order. The printed object will be shipped to you.