A recent Time Compression blog reminded me about one of the exclusively unique capabilities of 3D printing, and more specifically, color 3D printing. In my blog last year I wrote that Toy Story characters were “trapped” inside the digital world. The only way to release them into the real world is to 3D print them. To be clear this is not the only way. After all, you can buy a character doll at most toy stores. What I mean is that color 3D printing is the only way to reproduce exactly what the creator intended, right down to the last crease of an eyebrow or the exact cow skin pattern on Jessie’s chaps because 3D printing uses the data directly from the digital character.
|Photo Credits Woody, Jessie and Spanish Buzz, all 3D printed from original data on Pixar's ZPrinter.|
|Photo Credits Lotso 3D printed from original data on Pixar's ZPrinter.|
For a typical design process where the intended result is a physical object, 3D printing is often used to create prototypes. In the examples above, the final product is not intended to be a physical object, but is intended to remain digitized. 3D printing is a way to bring them to life. I wonder how many other examples exist where 3D data is the intended final product yet can be brought to life by 3D printing.
Video of the Zeotrope in action.