Jan 8, 2016 | By Benedict

Pixologic has joined forces with Formlabs to create a software integration between Pixologic’s ZBrush 3D design suite and Formlabs’ dedicated Preform 3D printing software. An upgraded 3D printing plugin will allow users to quickly and easily turn their ZBrush creations into 3D printable models.

Digital sculpting tool ZBrush is used by countless artists, designers and animators to produce complex 3D models. Designs made using ZBrush can be seen in blockbuster movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Godzilla, Jurassic World, and Star Wars Episode VII. The reliability and versatility of the software has also made it a favorite amongst 3D printing enthusiasts, being used to create digital maquettes, prototypes, concepts, jewelry designs, art toys, articulated toys, figurines, statuettes and more.

Thanks to a collaboration between ZBrush developer Pixologic and 3D printing giant Formlabs, the process of turning ZBrush 3D models into 3D prints is about to become a whole lot easier. A new software integration, which features an upgraded 3D printing plugin, will allow users to optimize 3D models for printing on the $3,299 Formlabs Form 2 desktop SLA 3D printer (below), a leading consumer-level machine.

The software integration will allow ZBrush users to seamlessly transfer 3D models from the ZBrush design environment to Formlabs’ Preform software, through which the model can be 3D printed. Formlabs’ new One Click Print functionality makes the 3D printing process faster than ever, with designs ready for the printer in a matter of minutes.

The collaboration with ZBrush is Formlabs’ first ever software integration, and could set a precedent for future collaborations. To accompany the release of the integration, Formlabs will be releasing a set of new tutorials designed to help ZBrush users design printer-friendly 3D models.

The Form 2 SLA 3D printer features a build volume of 145x145x175mm and a layer thickness of 25-100 microns. Various high quality elements such as an automated resin system, unique “peel” mechanism and heated resin tank have made the 3D printer an industry favorite for printing large parts with intricate details. The collaboration with Pixologic gives the SLA community one more reason to choose the Form 2.

The first iteration of ZBrush was released in 1999, and has since garnered a reputation as one of the most advanced and reliable software suites of its kind. Its current version already offers integration with Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, LightWave 3D, Poser Pro, DAZ Studio, EIAS and Modo. For artists new to digital sculpting, Pixologic has made a free trial of ZBrush software available.

The new functionality will be released in early 2016 as a feature within ZBrush. The two companies are yet to announce a firm release date for the software integration, but the process will be demonstrated by both at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, suggesting the plugin is ready to go.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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