May.21, 2013

Have you got a lot of digital photos in your computer? Now, if you have an access to a 3D printer, you can print them out in 3D.

Amanda Ghassaei, assistant tech editor at Instructables printed LP records on a professional 3D printer back in December 2012. This week she showed us at Instructables how to print photographs on a 3D printer.

All of the 3D models she tested were generated algorithmically from Processing using the ModelBuilder library by Marius Watz. Ghassaei rendered the 2D image in greyscale and assigned different thickness to each individual greyscale pixel value to reproduce the image. The library allows her to save 3D geometries in the STL file format which can then be printed by a 3D printer.

The Objet Connex500 3D printer in her office prints with a rigid, semitransparent white material that can be used to create these unique black and white photographic prints. The semitransparent material is printed thicker in the darker areas of the photograph, such as black areas and shade. "By varying the thickness of a region of this semitransparent print you can control the amount of light that is able to pass through, thereby controlling the brightness (thinner regions of material will appear brighter and thicker regions darker)." explains Ghassaei.

When backlit with a diffuse light, they recreate images with surprisingly high precision and even add some subtle dimensionality and texture to the scene.

Follow the instructions here on Instructables if you would like to try it yourself.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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