Keyshot to GrabCAD Print Quick Guide for Packaging 3D Printing

The world of packaging design is constantly evolving. It takes time, expertise and production capabilities at the final stage of creating your design’s prototype. Stratasys J series printers shorten this process, reduce your iterations and bring your design to life in a matter of hours.
With vibrant colors, adjusted transparencies and completely new features in the world of 3D printing, you can now print accurate color for liquids, physical packaging, and even labels.
This tutorial will take you step by step from your CAD file, to realistic render in Keyshot and finally, to an unbelievably realistic 3D print, printed by your J series printer.

  1. Step 1: Material settings for rendering purposes

    When using Keyshot for rendering purposes before printing, select “Liquid” material to simulate liquid and “Glass” to simulate transparent clear glass. 

    Type of material, Transparency distance and the Refractive Index settings for a perfect render

    Liquid/Translucent core

    ·        Use “Transparency Distance” and “Refractive Index” default settings to render your desired outcome.

    ·        When using color picker, select “HSV”.

    ·        Saturation and Hue values picked by the user to have the desired color.

    Glass/Plastic – outer part of the package

    ·        For the outer part of the package/bottle, pick the “Glass”/ ”Plastic” material to simulate glass/plastic. 

    Choosing Glass material will simulate glass bottles/packages

    ·        After choosing “Glass” material, select the color and check the “Refractive” check box. “Refractive Index” should have the same index as the material you are trying to mimic. Leaving this as default is ok. 

    Rendered glass in Keyshot

  2. Step 2: Material settings for file exporting

    After reaching the desired result with the rendered part, the following settings are required to reach optimal results for the 3D printed part: 

    Material settings selection before export

    ·        Change the liquid and the bottle/outer packaging materials to “Glass (Solid)”.

    ·        “Transparency distance” of the liquid/inner part should be set to the value of the bottle/packaging diameter/thickness. For example: 80mm diameter cup should have 80mm transparency distance for its core (liquid)

    ·        Lower the saturation level from the “Color Picker” to 30%-40% while keeping the hue value unchanged. Any saturation level over 40% will achieve unexpected results.

    Rendered cup after materials changed to “Glass (Solid)”

  3. Step 3: Exporting from Keyshot

    Exporting parameters

  4. Step 4: GrabCAD Print setup before printing

    When printing packaging designs, or other translucent parts with labels, it is recommended to use the “Optimized for packaging” check box. It is also important that the right materials are assigned to enable this check box. 

    Tray settings should have both the Ultra materials and the “Optimize for Packaging” options checked


  5. Step 5: Importing to GrabCAD Print

    ·        After a 3MF file is exported from Keyshot, the file can be imported to GrabCAD Print through the “Add Models” button.

    ·        The file should be fixed with GrabCAD’s automatic fixing tool:

    Fix the parts before printing for best results

  6. Step 6: White Underprint

    When designing packaging in the traditional way, a white underprint is required to make the labels pop out. A new feature from GrabCAD will simulate this underprint. The feature identifies the position of an opaque label/texture and puts an identical white layer underneath it. The layer can be adjusted to have values between 0 and 1mm.

    The White Underprint feature on the Model Settings section in GrabCAD

    side view of the white underprint activated on a vivid circle

    On the left side we can see a vivid transparent part. On the right side is a vivid label with a white underprint.

  7. Step 7: Results

    Print finished

    Printed cup

    As always, leave us a comment or question if you have any in the Comments section below.