How to print your own Justin Beiber

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No, it’s not him. But it could be. This form of 3D printing, invented by Conor MacCormack and his brother Fintan, uses A4 sheets of paper to produce photorealistic images. Staples, an office-supply company, is introducing machines made by the MacCormack’s company, Mcor Technologies, in one of their stores in the Netherlands. The plan is to roll out the service across Europe.  Using standard office paper as the print medium the process is cheap. It works by selectively depositing drops of adhesive to a sheet of paper in the shape of the first layer, then sliding a second sheet on top of the first and pressing them together to bond them. A tungsten-carbide blade then slices around the outline of the layer.  And so the process continues until the object is complete. Adding colour involves a bit of old-fashioned two-dimensional ink-jet printing around the outlines before the stack of paper is added into the machine. If you took 2D pictures of Justin and ran them through Autodesk’s 123D catch (a free app) it will turn them into a 3D file suitable for printing. More on MCor’s technology in my piece for The Economist here:

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21583238-new-low-cost-way-making-things-print-me-head-alfredo-garcia

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