3D Printing with PANTONE® Colours

Article by Stratasys Ltd. updated January 8, 2020

Article

Stratasys J835™ and J850™ 3D printers are PANTONE Validated™. This is the first additive manufacturing technology that offers professional design realism. Pantone, a leading global authority on professional colour standards in multiple vertical industries helps designers, modelers, and manufacturers all over the world accurately define, communicate, and consistently reproduce colours. Using a simple workflow, Stratasys CMYK colours can be matched to 1,970 printable Pantone Colours, Solid Coated and SkinTones™. 3D printing with Pantone reduces time and costs significantly and ensures superior colour fidelity.

This article describes recommendations and tips for best colour results when printing 3D parts with Pantone Colours on Stratasys 3D printers:

  1. Supported Printers, Materials, and Modes
  2. Preparing for 3D Printing
  3. Printing Parts with Pantone Colours

Learn about the process in the videos below:

Supported Printers, Materials and Modes

Create prototypes that look, feel and function like the finished product. The Stratasys J850 can produce more than 500,000 colour combinations, print seven resins simultaneously and provide multi-material capabilities that bring even the most imaginative ideas to life — allowing you to make more accurate design decisions earlier in the process.

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3D PrintersStratasys J850 (software version 85.1.0.25247 D97.1 and above), Stratasys J835 (software version
83.1.0.25248 D98.1 and above)
Printing ModesHigh Mix, High Quality (High Speed is not supported.)
Model Materials
  • VeroVivid™ materials: Vivid Cyan – VeroCyanV™, Vivid Magenta – VeroMagentaV™, Vivid Yellow – VeroYellowV™
  • Vero PureWhite™
  • VeroBlackPlus™
Support MaterialsSUP705™, SUP706B™
File TypeSTLs (colour per shell)
GrabCAD PrintGrabCAD Print™ version 1.28 and above (Note: The advanced slicer must be enabled.)

 

Preparing for Printing

Proper file preparation, printing material usage, and colour selection and assignment are required for best results when printing Pantone colours.

  • Pantone colours have been tested and validated for parts printed as follows:
    • a flat and glossy surface.
    • a 1-mm thick colour coating over a 4-mm thick core made of Vero PureWhite.
  • Other geometries and thickness might result in colour differences.
  • It is recommended to use the Pantone PMS Colour Guides for Solid Coated and SkinTone™ to identify the colour you wish to 3D print.

Tip: Make sure that the guides are current and in good condition. Pantone recommends purchasing new guides annually, because the colours change over time.

  • Use STL files. VRML files are not supported.
  • In GrabCAD Print, the advanced slicer must be enabled to use the Pantone Colours.
  • Pantone Colours are not suitable for printing on walls that are less than 3-mm thick.
  • These five materials must be loaded in the material cabinet (see Figure 3):
    • Vero PureWhite
    • VeroBlackPlus
    • VeroCyanV
    • VeroMagentaV
    • VeroYellowV
  • The sixth material can be any material you choose (for example, VeroClear™, Agilus30™ White).
Loaded materials for printing with pantone

Loaded materials for printing

  • When printing the Pantone Colours, the VeroVivid materials are opaque, due to the Vero PureWhite core. Transparency is not supported.
  • Avoid switching materials to prevent colour contamination that might adversely affect colour accuracy. If you switched materials, perform two material replacement cycles to flush the system thoroughly and achieve the intended colour accuracy.
  • Printed colours may vary from the Pantone Colours due to several factors, such as temperature, materials, printer maintenance and calibration. The degree of colour matching between the Pantone Colour and the printed colour is indicated in GrabCAD Print next to the Pantone Colour.

Tip: With Pantone Colours, the colour of the model on the build tray in GrabCAD Print will be the actual colour of the printed model.

IndicatorMeaning
pantone accurate matchAccurate match. Differences are generally minor and acceptable.
pantone minor differenceMinor visible differences might be seen between the printed colour and Pantone swatch. Acceptability will vary by job.
pantone visible differenceVisible differences might be seen between the printed colour and Pantone swatch. Acceptability will vary by job.
pantone major differenceMajor visible difference might be seen between printed colour and Pantone swatch. Acceptability will vary by job.

Printing Parts with Pantone Colours

  1. Load the Model printing materials listed above.
  2. In the Preferences dialog box, click PolyJet™ and make sure that the Enable advanced slicer checkbox is selected.
Enabling the advanced slicer

Enabling the advanced slicer

  1. Insert your part into GrabCAD Print.
  2. Display the Print Settings dialog box and select PANTONE®.

Tip: If the Pantone button is disabled, you need to enable the advanced slicer as described in step 2.

Select Pantone Colours

Select Pantone Book

  1. From the Book drop-down list, select the Pantone Solid Coated or SkinTone™ guide.
Selecting Pantone guide

Selecting Pantone guide

  1. In the search box, enter the Pantone Colour value you wish to print. Alternatively, you can select from the
    list of colours or enter the equivalent Hex or RGB values for the colour you wish to print.

Tip: When entering an RGB value, write it inside parenthesis. For example (68, 161, 210).

Search box for entering a color value

Search box for entering a colour value

A range of Pantone Colours appear.

Pantone Colours

Pantone Colours

  1. Assign the selected Pantone Colours to the part and print.

Interested in a Pantone Colour 3D Printer?

Contact us about the Stratasys J835™ and J850™ 3D printers to build your models and prototypes in Pantone Colours.

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