When most people think of 3D printing it's usually the additive FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) type where a nozzle extrudes heated plastic on to a bed layer by layer to create a 3D object.
However with Mcor's 3D printers the process is subtractive, starting with a solid block any excess material is cut away layer by layer until only the object remains.
While the process seems to resemble CNC modelling more than additive 3D printing Mcor's 3D printers are capable of creating the same high resolution objects traditional plastic printers make at a fraction of the cost with just a single ream of 80gsm photocopy paper.
Perhaps what most interesting though is how you can effectively print full colour objects complete with accurate shading, gradients and even photorealistic textures without any finishing processes. Admittedly doing this requires pre printing the ream of paper on a special inkjet printer to ensure accurate results but even so Mcor is one of very few companies that have even ventured into full colour 3D printing let alone gotten it right.
While 3D printing continues to fascinate people and the barrier to entry is constantly getting lower there is very little resemblance to the familiar 2D inkjet printing we all know, but with companies like Staples and Walmart quickly adopting 3D printing services in their stores perhaps this style of 3D printing is the next logical step and an ideal way for people to transition into the world of 3D printing.
Words: Christian Harries
Christian Harries is a freelance product designer and graduate from Ravensbourne. His portfolio can be seen here.
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