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.
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.
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.
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.
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 all over the world (in English, German, Spanish and Arabic).
Additional information can be found here.
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, "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.
Our technical report on using advanced error diffusion methods on surfaces is now available on arXiv.org. 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.
Fraunhofer IGD devoted a special edition of the Visual Computing Report - Video Podcast to us. It shows our current work in 3D Printing.
We were invited by Stratasys to present Cuttlefish at their booth.