Monday, May 31, 2010

3D-printed decals and tiles

The SD300 is uniquely well-suited for making decal-like tiles of any arbitrary shape and thickness. When cut into thin tiles, they emerge from the SD300 still attached to the foundation layer like the picture below. So thin, it's clear and colorless.

I printed several sheets of square tiles and left them attached to the support material while I painted the exposed side. The support material acted like a perfect mask to keep the other surfaces clean.

The tiles look brilliant and glossy with the clear side facing outward, and the color visible through the clear material. I built some puzzles with cavities to accept the tiles, which fit so perfectly they didn't have to be glued: they just snapped in to the cavities. The SD300 built everything in this picture, including the painted tiles.

I built a thinner set of tiles for this hand-customized puzzle. These are only 0.33mm thick so they're not much thicker than standard decals, but they look and feel more professional than ordinary decals. I printed the puzzle name Cube 321 on the back side of one of the tiles before painting it, as described in a previous blog post.

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