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Monday, August 8, 2016

The 'Other Kind' Of 3D Printing

Computational Thermoforming, the Other 3D Printing? (+Video)

Gareth Branwyn, Make Magazine | August 5, 2016

Semantic arguments aside as to whether this technique is legitimate “3D printing” or not, this method, developed by researchers at Disney, is definitely worth paying attention to. It’s actually a real ah-ha moment, such an obvious idea, you wonder why this isn’t in common use already.
The idea is quite simple. You first create a digital image where software works to deform the image to compensate for its eventual application onto a three-dimensional surface. The pre-deformed image is printed onto a plastic stock which is then fed into a vacuum forming machine.

[Click to Enlarge] "Our pipeline for producing plastic replicas of textured digital 3D models by computational thermoforming." Source:
[Clink on link for video] Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (New Technique Takes Multicolor 3D Printing to New Heights. May 4, 2016) and (Computational Thermoforming. Christian Schuller, Daniele Panozzo, Anselm Grundhofer, Henning Zimmer, Evgeni Sorkine, and Olga Sorkine-Hornung. SIGGRAPH 2016 Posters, July 24-28, 2016, Anaheim, CA. DOI: [Abstract: We propose a method to fabricate textured 3D models using thermoforming. Differently from industrial techniques, which target mass production of a specific shape, we propose a combined hardware and software solution to manufacture customized, unique objects. Our method simulates the forming process and converts the texture of a given digital 3D model into a pre-distorted image that we transfer onto a plastic sheet. During thermoforming, the sheet deforms to create a faithful physical replica of the digital model. Our hardware setup uses off-the-shelf components and can be calibrated with an automatic algorithm that extracts the simulation parameters from a single calibration object produced by the same process.])>

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