Topic of your interest

Fogra Softproof startpicture

Graphic 3D printing – colour accurate softproof for 3D objects produced in Polyjet and Multijet fusion processes

Short name: 3D softproof

Fogra no. 12.017
Project leader: Dr M. Mattuschka
Funding: BMWK (IGF) via AiF


Timescale: 1.11.2018 - 31.10.2020

Research Report

Objective and relevance

Compared to 2D soft proofs, the on-screen colour accuracy of printed products in 3D printing is even more important and challenging for the graphics industry. High material prices and the comparatively long duration of the 3D printing process do not allow the creation of proof prints.

The aim of the project is to design a 3D softproof for full-colour 3D printers. It is expected that the Polyjet or Multijet Fusion technology will replace 3D powder printing (3DP) in graphic 3D printing. Therefore, these promising successors of the 3DP process are the subject of the research project.

Dr Andreas Kraushaar

Head of Prepress Technology

+49 89 431 82 - 335

get in touch

Your contact

I would be pleased to answer your questions about the project and look forward to exchanging ideas with you.

Solution steps

The first of 3 focal points deals with the characterisation of 3D printers. For quality assurance along the process chain in 3D printing, it is essential to record visually plausible measurement data that provide information about the colour fidelity of the printed products. There are no standardised measuring and sampling methods for 3D printing yet. To solve this dilemma, the main factors influencing the overall visual impression of the printed products are determined by test prints.

In the second focal point, a freely parameterisable “rendering algorithm” is developed by the Fraunhofer IGD to support ICC colour management. The parameters required for rendering are perceptually optimised by a psychophysical experiment, taking into account physical principles.

In the last focal point, the material data determined in the first focal point and the “rendering algorithm” developed in the second focal point are embedded in the iccMAX framework developed by the ICC.

In addition, the developed test panels will also be coded as 3MF and OBJ files in order to achieve the highest possible acceptance by SMEs.

3D Softproof


Within the framework of this research project, the practical basics for the physically correct digital representation of objects created in 3D printing were investigated. To this end, a concept for a renderer was developed at the beginning that takes physical object parameters into account. It includes the characterization of the necessary 3D environment including all relevant objects. The necessary scene information includes the viewing conditions (environmental map), the optical properties of the printing materials used as well as information about the concrete printing settings used.

Based on this requirement description, one focus was dedicated to the characterisation of the scene environment (environment map), which was realised by means of high dynamic range (HDR), as well as the data-driven and model-based description of the angle-dependent reflection properties (BRDF). Specifically, full-colour 3D printers from Stratasys, Mimaki (both polyjet printing) and HP (multijet fusion process) were used.

Publications & intermediate findings

Meeting documents

TitleVersionDateFile typeDownload
PA meeting (agenda) 06.06.2019 pdf Download