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The latest version of GrabCAD Print released an exciting new color profile that is guaranteed to make 3D printing in color even better: X-Rite. X-Rite is a world leader in the color industry by offering the most accurate level of color integrity so your 3D printed parts come out exactly how you intended.

Today, most designers use X-Rite-based color profiles because the X-Rite color profile algorithm is the best in the world at identifying the color profiles the designer is attempting to achieve. Below, we’ll review more on what X-Rite is and how you can start using it in GrabCAD Print today!

X-Rite Color Profiles

To reiterate, X-Rite helps designers achieve intended colors and textures because the X-Rite algorithm is accurate:

  • The colors are more accurate
  • Everything inside the color gamut is more defined so there are less overlapping colors
  • Improved input-to-print color translation (Lab > CMY > Print > measured lab)
  • You get more color from within the base resin

And one of the biggest advantages of using X-Rite is that it’s a way to “future proof” your work; meaning as you incorporate more colors and materials to your part, the future color profiles will keep the colors consistent.

A good example of this is the Pepsi color blue; the same blue color you pick and print now and in future profiles will have the same accuracy.

When it comes to designing for realism, X-Rite ensures the color profile you choose is the one you 3D print, particularly when it comes to:

  • Skin tones for applications such as figurines and dolls
  • Textures such as wood, leather, marble and natural substances
  • RGB blue and red ranges
  • Gray colors
  • Color resolution and color definition

Pantone vs X-Rite

There’s no competition here. X-Rite and Pantone work hand-in-hand. X-Rite is the parent company behind Pantone, and manufactures the color measurement and management products. Pantone sets the color standard.

You may not have known it but X-Rite color profiles are behind almost every print in 2D — and now in 3D.

Using Professional X-Rite Based Color Profiles in GrabCAD Print

Color profiles help you determine how the 3D printer interprets a range of colors and prints them; the profiles essentially guide the color management software (X-Rite in this case).

In the latest version of GrabCAD Print, we created X-Rite profiles with four rendering intents. We selected these intents because they are the ICC Standard:

  1. Relative Colorimetric: adapts all the colors to the substrate’s white
  2. Absolute Colorimetric: tries to achieve objectively accurate color regardless of the substrate’s white.
  3. Perceptual: compresses all source colors (sRGB) to destination (CMYK) and keeps relationships between colors as-is to produce the best rendition of the image — while maintaining color accuracy.
  4. Saturation: pushes saturated colors into the pastels making more of the gamut saturated — resulting in less accurate colors.

Now, every color in GrabCAD print that is defined as RGB will get translated through the profile so that the printer knows the CMYK amounts to use, and also to show soft-proof on the screen.

The new CMYKW and CMYW color profiles that were added in 1.41 are now the default color profiles when CMYKW and CMYW vivid materials are loaded to the printer. The profile name is X-Rite i1Profiler CMYKW or CMYK.

X-Rite Color Profiles in GrabCAD Print

GRABCAD PRINT TIP: Due to this change, we recommend that you evaluate the proof in GrabCAD Print before printing. So before starting a long print, first print a small sample to make sure it’s the color you want.

Using the X-Rite color profiles:

  1. Open Tray Materials
  2. Verify that you set Vivid CMY, white and black as the Tray Materials.
  3. From both the Color Profiles and Texture Profiles drop-down lists, select a X-Rite profile with the intent you require for your print.

In a future release, we’ll be enabling X-Rite profiles so a user can create their own profile using X-Rite tools and load them into GrabCAD Print. Learn more about GrabCAD Print 1.42 and download the latest version today!

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