It was only a matter of time, but it still feels a little shocking – like seeing your first electric-car recharging station. But it’s happened. Making good on its Creative Cloud promise to roll out new innovations instantly, Adobe has just added to Photoshop the ability to design and edit digital models for the printing of objects on 3D printers.
The idea here is that a user downloads a 3D model from a website such as Thingiverse, and uses Photoshop to adapt it to their needs. More adventurous types can even use the tools to create 3D objects from scratch. (Here’s more on how to demo and download those tools.)
Let’s not kid ourselves here – 3D print design is not some trendy “out there” technology; it’s here to stay. As much as we love paper, if we want to remain commercially viable as designers, we need to start thinking seriously about adding 3D to our skill set. And being able to get our feet wet learning to design in three dimensions using a program we’ve practically grown up with is going to help tremendously.
Many are still smarting over Adobe’s switch to Creative Cloud-only software, but if Adobe can continue to keep us current like this, it might go a little ways toward justifying the expense.