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Print your photographs in 3D

Amanda Ghassaei, who brought us how to make a 3D-printed record, has now shown how to print photographs on a 3D printer.

(Credit: Amanda Ghassaei)

Amanda Ghassaei, who brought us how to make a 3D-printed record, has now shown how to print photographs on a 3D printer.

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, you can try printing them in 3D. Using an Objet Connex500 3D printer that prints at 600dpi, ModelBuilder library and Processing, Ghassaei converted her photographs into a printable topography.

How do they work? When printed, the semitransparent material used in the Objet Connex500 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 greyscale, 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.