3D Printing Isn’t Printing with Paper. Or Is It?
In a recent CNN interview, a very high-profile industry figure said about 3D printing, “It can literally print a 3D product from a machine, not just paper…if you print on paper, you just print one layer.” This explanation would undoubtedly give an uninformed viewer the impression that 3D printing doesn’t involve paper.
Tell that to Michael Eden and Keith Brown of the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art & Design (MIRIAD), Manchester Metropolitan University who bring the skills and understanding of three-dimensional forms to new tools and technology that are now available and also create leather-like sculptures using paper 3D printing.
Or, tell that to Nick Grace at the Royal College of Art who is engaging, educating and giving students a competitive edge, as well as meeting the prototyping needs of professional clients across a variety of sectors, with paper 3D printing.
Tell that to Steve Alagna of Unisource Engineered Solutions, who uses Mcor paper 3D printing to make realistic packaging prototypes and win business.
Tell that to Dr. Raphael Olszewski, who uses paper 3D printing in his medical practice and in research work with his students.
Or, tell that to office supply retail giant, Staples, who, after a careful review and selection process, chose Mcor paper 3D printing as the exclusive 3D printing technology for their new “Easy 3D” print service.
And, tell that to other Mcor customers and service providers in product design, manufacturing, architecture, education, fine arts, GIS, medical, consumer products, entertainment and other sectors who are using Mcor paper 3D printing every day to more effectively innovate and educate.
I recognize that the explanation of 3D printing provided in that interview was, innocently enough, only meant to clarify the difference between a 3D rendering on a single 2D sheet of paper and 3D printing. But Mcor has redefined 3D printing, given that we are the only company in the world to use standard office paper as the build medium for our 3D printers, and so I believe it’s time for the explanation of 3D printing to be refined to include, not exclude, paper as a 3D printing build medium.
Paper 3D printing is here. I can profess unequivocally that 3D printing can and does use regular paper that you can purchase at any office supply store to build physical 3D objects layer by layer in the most affordable, eco-friendly, safe and full colour manner available.