HP has launched its first 3D to 2D printer
in the UAE.
The program also does something called tool-pathing, which is the 3D equivalent of rasterizing the image on a 2D printer
. It then compiles the image and creates an STL format file, much like some early PostScript print utilities created PostScript print files and saved them to disk.
Characteristically, this 2D printer
is housed in a stainless steel IP65 washdown-resistant cabinet and features an armoured printing cable.
Several RP companies are targeting small prototyping applications, such as design shops and collaborative office situations--places where a communications tool is needed, says Rudgley, so that "instead of everybody staring at a complex drawing for 10 to 15 minutes trying to work out what they're looking at, they can look at a 3D model." The result is a rash of RP machines that are basically 3D versions of a standard 2D printer
. These RP "printers" sit in an office, require no special training beyond what's in the user's manual, and they come with print drivers to load into any standard Windows-based computer.
Said company chairman John Ryan of the Iris, "It is the only printer than can make 3D objects in full high-resolution color, offering the same extensive color pallet found in top-of-the-line 2D printers
. That, combined with its use of off-the-shelf computer paper as the primary source material, makes the Iris printer the perfect choice for applications where life-like full-color prints, low material cost and clean eco-friendly operation are required."