Step aside, home photo printer! The age of the 3D printer is just beginning. But then what are you supposed to do with all those digital photos sitting on your hard drive?
Well, thanks to Amanda Ghassaei of Instructables -- who showed us -- you can try printing them in 3D. Using an Objet500 Connex 3D printer that prints at 600dpi, along with ModelBuilder library and the Processing open-source programming language, Ghassaei converted her photographs into a printable topography.
How do they work? When printed, the semitransparent material used in the Objet500 Connex is printed thicker in the darker areas of the photograph, such as black areas and shade. When held up to diffuse light, it penetrates the thinner parts of the picture more easily, keeping the thicker areas dark, and letting the image emerge in monochrome.
Ghassaei achieved this by rendering the image in gray scale, then assigning a thickness to each pixel based on its shade. This is then converted into a printable file, all done algorithmically using code written by Ghassaei.
It looks fabulous, and we're dying to try it. We'd especially love to see a large image broken down into panels, then assembled to create a large light-screen.
Grab the instructions for how to do it yourself on Instructables.
(Source: Crave Australia)