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New Technique Takes Multicolor 3D Printing to New Heights

by • May 3, 2016 • No Comments

ETHZ-logo-300x119There are really a few limitations that are yet keeping 3D printing innovation of reaching its full future, that include create dimensions constraints, material restrictions, and the lack of multicolor printing capabilities. But we most likely have a long way to go preceding addressing all of these obstacles, there have been a few valiant efforts by leading companies to address the issue of multicolor printing. For instance, last year, Samsung Electronics was granted a patent for a multicolor ink for 3D printing, and a few months later, Apple filed a patent for their own multicolor 3D printing system. Last month, the dream of multicolor printing became nearer to a reality with Stratasys’ announcement of the J750, an industrial 3D printing device that allows for for both multicolor and multi-material printing.

As we inch nearer and nearer to having achieve access to a additional colorful 3D printing experience, a group of researchers, of both the Switzerland-based ETH Zurich and Disney Research Zurich, have only announced an incredibly one-of-a-kind system that provides 3D prints with high-high end more details in limitless colors. Their new technique, that is coined Computational Thermoforming, uses a combination of an built industrial production technique—called thermoforming—and a new specialized software, that is engineered to provide structurally complicated and colored surfaces to individual pieces or tiny batches of objects.

Chinese mask made with Computational Thermoforming technique

Chinese mask made with Computational Thermoforming technique

The new method, that was pioneered by ETH doctoral student Christian Schüller under the supervision of ETH Professor Olga Sorkine-Hornung, was made in the university’s Interactive Geometry Lab. The technique utilizes a desktop simulation that produces a colored surface of a digital 3D version, that is and so printed onto a plastic sheet. In a system called thermoforming, this colored plastic sheet is heated and made directly onto the 3D print. By computing the digital version into a demade color image, the colors and more detailed patterns are made to fit the geometric more details of the 3D object flawlessly.

The Computational Thermoforming system

The Computational Thermoforming system

Utilizing actually the simplest 3D printing device, the initially step of the system is to 3D print a negative mold of the desired version in PLA, that forms the necessitated basis for the temperature-resistant gypsum mold. The specialized software and so computes the texture of the 3D version, that is and so laser printed onto a special transfer paper and transferred onto the plastic sheet with a mixture of heat and pressure. That plastic sheet is clamped above the gypsum mold inside the thermoforming machine, and the colored plastic sheet is and so vacuum-casted onto the 3D printed mold like a tight skin.

“This more detail is reproduced precisely in the copy. The surface has a high-high end appear, and the colours and structure are approximately identical to those of the original,” says Schüller. “The replica has a high high end appearance, and for most applications it’s cheaper and faster than today’s 3D colour printing system.”

With this technique, Schüller and his team have may already made a few high-more detailed objects, that include the feature-filled Chinese mask and food replicas that appear—but don’t taste—only like the real thing. The high-gloss plastic utilized in Computational Thermoforming makes the system less suitable for replicating the properties of wood and stone materials, but overall, the method is an inexpensive and incredibly well-suited one for versioners, architectural firms, schools, and actually the hobbyist sector.

All of the 3D printed objects made with this newly made technique

All of the 3D printed objects made with this newly made technique

The new technique can be presented by the research team at the Anaheim, California-based ACM SIGGRAPH 2016, a conference and exhibition focutilized around Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques, that takes place of July 24-28. In addition to Schüller and his supervisor Professor Sorkine-Hornung, the technique was in addition collaborated on by Daniele Panozzo, Anselm Grundhofer, Henning Zimmer, and Evgeni Sorkine. Learn additional of Computational Thermoforming in the interesting video at a lower place! Discuss additional in the Computational Thermoforming for 3D Prints forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Phys.org Images: ETH Zurich]