The universal 3d printing driver

Cuttlefish Prints Shown in Bavarian Museum

18 Jul 2018

The world-best color 3D printing quality of Cuttlefish is helping improve the cultural heritage experience on Rose Island in Starnberger Lake in Bavaria, just outside Munich. Read more here and here (in German).

Our paper on 3D printing color and translucency accepted to SIGGRAPH

17 May 2018

Our paper, "3D Printing Spatially Varying Color and Translucency", describing the algorithms behind our unique full color and translucency 3D printing technology has been accepted to SIGGRAPH, the foremost venue in computer graphics, and will appear in a special issue of ACM Transactions on Graphics. The conference will take place in August 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. See our Publications page for details.

Cuttlefish goes metal

01 Dec 2017

In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute of Laser Technology ILT – the inventors of the SLM technology – and three other well-known Fraunhofer institutes, we are working on upgrading Cuttlefish to control metal SLM 3D printers employing a geometry-adaptive laser scan strategy maximizing productivity.

Please have a look at the article on for more information.

The official website to the project can be found here:

Cuttlefish now available to all Stratasys J750 customers

23 Nov 2017

With the Stratasys' release of GrabCAD Voxel Print for the J750 multi-material 3D printer, now all J750 users can harness its full power with Cuttlefish. See the press release.

Cuttlefish at Formnext in Frankfurt am Main

15 Nov 2017

We are presenting Cuttlefish at FormNext in Frankfurt am Main from November 14 to November 17. Drop by the Fraunhofer-Allianz Generative Fertigung stand at Messe Frankfurt, Halle 3.0 Stand F50, to learn more about how Cuttlefish can get the most out of your 3D printer.

Our highlight this year is the following anatomy model, which is a composition of 28 sub-parts, each of them assigned a unique material, comprising over 425 megapixels of color texture data. For some of the sub-parts we use Cuttlefish's surface shader feature to manipulate the appearance, e.g. the transparency of the object. Click the images below to have a closer look at the results, or drop by the stand to see her "in person".

DIG:ED to use Cuttlefish for its 3D printing service

30 Aug 2017

Digitization company DIG:ED GmbH will leverage Cuttlefish's world-best quality in 3D color printing in their upcoming 3D printing service "CAPPS.IT driven by Cuttlefish technology", which will be used for 3D selfies, prototyping and other applications. The service will be available starting September 2017 via retail partners of DIG:ED. See the press release (German).

Cuttlefish technology honored by Fraunhofer IGD & TU Darmstadt!

05 Dec 2016

The paper describing the core technology behind Cuttlefish's best-on-the-market color reproduction for 3D printing received the Best Paper Award in the category "Impact on Science" at the 18th Annual Darmstadt Computer Graphics Evening, which honors academic and industrial achievements in the field of Visual Computing at Fraunhofer IGD and the Technische Universität Darmstadt during the past year. Read the paper here.

formnext in Frankfurt am Main

10 Nov 2016

We will be presenting Cuttlefish at formnext in Frankfurt am Main from November 15 to November 18. Drop by the Fraunhofer-Allianz Generative Fertigung stand at Messe Frankfurt, Hall 3.1, Stand 3.1-E60, to learn more about how Cuttlefish can get the most out of your 3D printer.

Visual Computing Podcast 3/2016

01 Nov 2016

Slides for our SIGGRAPH 2016 talk online

29 Aug 2016

The slides for our talk at SIGGRAPH 2016 on our TOG paper "Pushing the Limits of 3D Color Printing: Error Diffusion with Translucent Materials" are online.

3D Printing: Fraunhofer thrills US moviemakers

31 May 2016

The features of 3D printing are significant for the movie industry. The US animation studio LAIKA, relies on using the cutting edge software and 3D printing hardware to make its films. A new collaboration with Fraunhofer and Stratasys now adds the ability to print thousands of precise colors and subtle gradients in plastic, achieving color accuracy unseen in the past.

(Portland/Darmstadt) Stop-motion animation has a unique appeal. When employing the technique, twenty-four frames equal one second of animation. Each frame must be meticulously set up with puppets and props incrementally altered in small movements. An entire movie is compiled from the individual motionless scenes, captured by a digital camera. LAIKA, the US-based animation studio, has produced three Oscar®-nominated animated films: The Boxtrolls (2014), ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009). Their use of 3D printing in animation garnered them a Scientific and Engineering award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. The studio’s fourth feature, Kubo and the Two Strings, will open in theaters this year.

In order to produce the puppets facial expressions, LAIKA designs, models, animates and paints the faces in the computer, then uses color 3D printers to produce tens of thousands of slightly different facial expressions. LAIKA pioneered this technique on it’s inaugural film Coraline and has continued to push the limits of 3D Printing technology on each subsequent film. On LAIKA’s fifth film they will be utilizing the most cutting edge color plastic printing hardware from Stratasys combined with the powerful universal print driver Cuttlefish from Fraunhofer IGD to help achieve accurate and repeatable color from face to face.

Cuttlefish makes it possible to work with many printing materials at the same time, to accurately replicate the geometry, colors and smooth color transitions of the original, and to simulate the printout on screen in advance. “Our first tests were fantastic”, says Academy Award winner and director of LAIKA’s rapid prototyping department, Brian McLean. “We have never seen such accurate and detailed color before in a plastic 3D print.”

The offical press release can be found here.

GCode for FDM-Printers

16 Mar 2016

Cuttlefish is now able to generate GCode from voxel data, which can be used to drive FDM-printers.

Deutsche Welle broadcast a TV report on our technology

08 Dec 2015

Deutsche Welle broadcast a TV report on our technology all over the world (in English, German, Spanish and Arabic).

Additional information can be found here.

CIC 23 in Darmstadt: 3D Printing and Cuttlefish Feature Prominently

30 Oct 2015

The 23rd Color and Imaging Conference of the IS&T, the premier annual gathering of scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, was held in Darmstadt from October 19 to 23--in Europe for the first time. Both 3D printing, and Cuttlefish and its development team featured prominently in the conference. Scott White from HP gave a keynote talk on "Building Rich and Seameless Workflows for Advanced Fabrication". Cuttlefish developers Alan Brunton and Philipp Urban from Fraunhofer IGD's Competence Center for 3D Printing Technology gave a short course on "Color and Appearance in 3D Printing". Philipp was also the conference technical program co-chair.

More details on this years program can be found here.

Our Paper on Surface Halftoning Accepted to TOG

01 Oct 2015

Our paper, "Pusing the Limits of 3D Color Printing: Error Diffusion with Translucent Materials" has been accepted to ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), the top journal in computer graphics. See below for links to the preprint and the accompanying video.

Media reaction to our technology

25 Jun 2015

It didn't take long for the media to pick up our article pre-print on arXiv and the reaction is very positive! Check out some of the coverage at these links:

MIT Technology Review

Pushing the Limits of 3D Color Printing

08 Jun 2015

Our technical report on using advanced error diffusion methods on surfaces is now available on From a technical standpoint, we developed a traversal algorithm for voxel representations of surfaces, which allows us to use anisotropic 2D error diffusion filters from 2D halftoning. We transfer printer tonal values inside the object, extract multiple offset surfaces within the object and apply the same technique on them independently. This produces the prints you see in the gallery. For details, check out the paper. Also check out the video.

Visual Computing Report - Video Podcast

27 May 2015

Fraunhofer IGD devoted a special edition of the Visual Computing Report - Video Podcast to us. It shows our current work in 3D Printing.


25 Nov 2014

We were invited by Stratasys to present Cuttlefish at their booth.