Explosive growth in 3D printing could be just around the corner following the addition of 3D print capability to Adobe's latest incarnation of Photoshop.
Adobe today unveiled the capabilities in the new Photoshop Creative Cloud which radically simplifies the 3D print process.
Available now, the new 3D printing capabilities integrated in Photoshop CC enable creative cloud members to easily and reliably build, refine, preview, prepare and print 3D designs.
The development has set the stage for 3D printing reaching a tipping point in the wider market.
The new capabilities also help creatives design in 3D from scratch or refine an existing 3D model and produce print-ready models using familiar Photoshop tools.
Automated mesh repair and support structure generation ensure models will be produced reliably, while accurate previews allow creatives to submit print jobs with confidence.
Adobe vice president Winston Hendrickson said the new capabilities took the guesswork out of printing 3D models for everyone.
"Before today there was a gap between the content produced by 3D modelling tools and what 3D printers need in order to deliver high quality results.
"Now, by simply clicking 'Print' in Photoshop CC, creatives can bring 3D designs to the physical world."
Designs can be printed to a locally connected 3D printer or via built-in access to popular online 3D print services.
Photoshop CC supports the most popular desktop 3D printers, such as the MakerBot Replicator, and also supports the full range of high quality materials available on Shapeways -- the 3D printing community and marketplace -- including ceramics, metals, and full colour sandstone.
Additionally, Photoshop users can now directly upload their 3D models to the Sketchfab 3D publishing service, and embed them in their Behance profile using Sketchfab's interactive 3D viewer.
Shapeways chief executive Peter Weijmarshausen said he was thrilled to partner with Adobe to help kick-start the delivery of 3D content to their highly creative users.
"We're focused on making 3D printing accessible and affordable for people all over the world. By teaming up with Adobe, we're making it easy for designers and creatives to turn ideas into reality, using Shapeway's highest quality 3D printing technologies."
The update supports OBJ, STL, 3DS, Collada and KMZ file formats and is also compatible with the Cube home 3d printer.
Printing in 3D enables the production of accurate and compelling prototypes and finished designs and is used in many creative fields, including architecture, jewellery, film and animation.
Adobe today also shipped new features across its flagship design applications and services, as part of a major Creative Cloud release.
New features in Photoshop CC include the perspective warp, which changes the viewpoint from which an object is seen, and linked smart objects that radically improve collaboration -- updating the final design automatically if the reference file is changed.