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3D in colour

Print Hi-Tech: 3D in colour

Printing, digital, and marketing convergence

For July and August, I chose the most colourful news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies.

Today: the wonderful world of pop-up books; the magic of water colour printing; new ways to 3D print colourful objects; beautiful cakes created with 3D printing.

The Pop-Up World: Books in 3D

Do you like pop-up books or do you think they are primitive and boring? Just have a look at this list of the best pop-up books ever made. You’ll be amazed how inspiring they can be. Discover a fascinating paper world in extra 3D dimension!

These wonderful collectables are created by talented ‘paper engineers.’ It appears that the pop-up culture has its own biggest names, and Robert Sabuda, the creator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Beauty and the Beast and more, is definitely among them.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Commemorative Pop-up by Robert Sabuda celebrates the 100th anniversary of Frank Baum’s edition. The book contains a short version of the original story combined with the beautiful artwork in the style of W.W. Denslow, holographic foil on every spread, and a number of mini pop-ups.

Water Printing: The magic of colours

3D printing is rapidly developing over the past few years, but to colour complex 3D patterns both accurately and efficiently is still a problem.

Water transfer printing (or hydrographics) has been around for a decade or even more. While being able to transfer inks on a thin film to the surface of a 3D object, it suffers from the inability to accurately register colour texture to complex geometries.

Now, researchers came to offer computational hydrographic printing: a standard hydrographic technology plus 3D vision system to create a precise texture map. According to them, the cost-effective method inherits the versatility of traditional hydrographic printing, while also enabling precise alignment of surface textures making them look somewhat vivid and real. The results are amazing!

Colours for 3D Printing: A way to go?

Getting colour into 3D printing is not easy. But this year we witnessed a number of announcements including DIY segment that could make full-coloured 3D objects a closer reality.

Stratasys announced the enterprise-grade J750 model based on proprietary Polyjet technology. The printer which is said to print with photorealistic colour accuracy can handle materials of various hardness and even transparencies.

stratasys j750 3D colour

Moreover, Stratasys and Adobe partnered to offer a solution to produce realistic colour 3D models. Stratasys Creative Colours is powered by Adobe’s 3-D colour print engine. The printing platform is called Connex3 (the same PolyJet technology) and allows three photopolymer based resins to be printed at once.

Aad van der Geest, an independent product designer, created the ‘Colorpod’, an add-on for Ultimaker to print in full colour, using the same powder and technology found in expensive binder jetting machines.

Jason Powell, a user from Instructables, came up with a DIY path to bring full-color 3D printing to Rostock Max, the popular delta 3D printer priced only $1,000. While companies like Stratasys are aiming the industrial segment of full-colour printing, Powell shows that the same result an be achieved with open source and shared ideas.

Bonus: Made in Ukraine

The Ukrainian chef Dinara Kasko from Kharkov uses geometry and biomimicry to create the most colourful and appetising desserts. “I want to make something interesting and fresh, experimenting with new creative ideas,” she says.

In her interview to “So good…” magazine, she explains that she is trying to connect architecture, design, and patisserie: “A beautiful cake, as well as a beautiful building, needs preliminary design”.

First, 3D master models are designed, printed and post-processed. After that, they cast the silicone mould. Currently, Dinara Kasko starts to work with large silicone moulds producers: Silikomart decided to put some of her models into mass production. The Bubbles mould (see the photo) will be available for sale in September.

Print Hi-Tech: 3D colours

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