Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Back in September, the BBC reported on what is believed to be the first color motion picture. Dating from 1902, the flick was the handiwork of a gentleman named Edward Raymond Turner, a forgotten inventor until his film was rediscovered. Turner’s process, I’ve learned, was a three-color (RGB) system that recorded three frames of exposed film successively; playback was at 48 fps. If you look at the report, you’ll find excerpts of Turner’s film. They’re faulty — parallax effects — yet poignant.
Pumping gobs of primary colors at you is the way a lot of color technology begins its life. Early video games were awful for scrolling layers of color at you. Still, we keep plugging away until someone comes up with a workable idea. Today’s Check It Out could fit in that neat idea category.
Mcor Technologies recently announced its IRIS 3D printer. IRIS can create objects from 3D data using more than 1 million colors simultaneously. This means that you can print models of end products, 3D maps, anthropological and medical models, building sites, or whatever you 3D print that look full-color realistic rather than looking as if they were meant to approximate realistic.
If you recall recent coverage in DE, you might have surmised that a key enabler of this capability is Mcor’s paper-based material technology. The paper, which is layered in the additive build process to produce sturdy objects, not only is inexpensive compared to plastic materials, but, being paper, it absorbs ink readily and well. This attribute enables IRIS to make colors vivid, subtle, or in-between because the paper has ink throughout and not just on the surface. This also means sidewalls, undercuts, and any spot on the paper can be colored subtly or not. If you have a good monitor that displays realistic images, it appears that IRIS will give you WYSIWYG color for 3D prototype printing.
The first link offered in today’s Check It Out goes to a video showing off IRIS. The 3D bust, if you ask me, is so good it’s creepy. The topological map is impressive. The skull, well, I knew him, Horatio. The second link goes to the IRIS brochure and finally there’s a link to the IRIS web page. The last two have all the specs.
The Mcor IRIS 3D printer, which makes its US debut later this month at SolidWorks World, will go for a bit less than $16K in the US. It’s worth checking out simply because it’s cool. That the Mcor IRIS could also bring a whole new high-definition meaning to your engineering prototyping, marketing, and sales pitches makes it even cooler to check out.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
IRIS 3D Prints in a Rainbow of Colors