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Casio's Mofrel printer brings leather to life

Realistic leather texture from a digital printer? Remarkably, it's now possible.

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Tim Stevens
Casio Mofrel Printer
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A wonderful, hand-painted leather cover for a book? Think again, that came out of a printer. 

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So did this, a sheet of plastic that looks all the world like a sheet of perforated leather. 

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They both came out of this, the Casio Mofrel printer. 

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It's a multi-stage process that the company calls a 2.5D printer. 

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First, sheets receive designs in black that define the textured areas. 

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Heat is defined, causing the sheets to expand, defining the texture. That black layer is then peeled off. 

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After that, color can be applied, creating fine results.

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The resulting sheet here has a beautiful, fine pattern that would make for incredible wall tiles. 

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Other concepts included braille signs with full-color representations for the seeing.

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But the most exciting application is rapid prototyping, including interiors for concept cars. This is, believe it or not, a single sheet that came right out of the printer and was stretched over a form. It's remarkable to see up close. 

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Click through to see more of what the Mofrel printer can do.

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