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Laser & Ribbon Printing?

Posted by mikealex 
Laser & Ribbon Printing?
April 21, 2009 11:58PM
Hey everyone! I've been considering alternatives to the normal extruder method of printing and I had a thought (well, many thoughts, only one decent). What if you were to pull a ribbon of whatever printing material you were using over top of the model, then used a laser to melt the ribbon onto the model wherever you would have normally extruded material? I don't know if I'm explaining this well, I'll try to make an illustration tomorrow. If you do understand, is this a viable method? If it is, it would seriously speed up the printing process and would possibly increase the printing resolution. If the mechanism were to use a CD-RW laser diode, it could be focussed into a very, very thin beam. Let me know your thoughts.

Re: Laser & Ribbon Printing?
April 22, 2009 03:13AM
Hi Mike,

... this is called 'thermotransfer printing' and was one of the first methods of 3D-printing with wax-like colours.

I have an extreme old colour-printer 'Okimate 20' for a Commodore C64 which prints with 4-color-ribbons by heating the printing dots with a small resistor-area what 'transfers' some of the coating material in the heated areal from the ribbon to the paper.

Some peaple tried 3D-printing by stacking the printings.

But the adhesion of the wax-color on itself wasn't so good, so this causes sometimes chaotic behaviour of the solid objects.

And then the Stereo-Lithography printing reached the market and the thermotransfer method wasn't interesting any more sad smiley

Re: Laser & Ribbon Printing?
April 22, 2009 12:03PM
Hmm... Looks like I'm going back to the drawing board...
Re: Laser & Ribbon Printing?
April 29, 2009 03:04PM
Ahhh... yes.. 3d printing. 3D printing is reaching new heights. We are currently taking the tehcnology and appling to the architectural community by create rapid scale models. Awesome technology. You can see some of our projects at [www.3dventures.com]
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