Disney takes 3D printing to the next level with their technology to provide custom surface reflectance to surfaces of the 3D printed objects
Disney filed a patent for providing custom surface reflectance to surfaces of 3D printed objects.
Currently, the 3D printers enable manufacturers and consumers to print 3D objects from 3D models with high accuracy. However, they still cannot directly replicate the reflection properties of an object being created with a 3D model. For example, it may be useful to manufacture an object that has two or three different reflection properties such as being transparent in portions, being highly reflective or having a glossy finish in other portions, and/or being somewhat reflective (and colored, in some cases) or having a matte finish in still other portions of the object. This is not possible with the present 3D printing techniques, wherein the reflection properties of the printed object are defined by the chosen printing material.
The patented technique involves printing an outer or micro-surface (e.g., a reflective skin) that has multiple sets of reflectance properties.
The reflective skin also includes a diffuse color layer providing with ink providing areas or regions of one or more colors, and a layer of transparent plastic printed or formed in an additive manner to provide the reflectance elements of the micro-surface to provide or set reflectance properties for each colored region of the ink layer (e.g., the reflectance elements may differ over each colored region to provide differing reflectance).
Publication number: US9,266,287
Patent Title: 3D printing with custom surface reflectance
Application number: US 14/030,176
Publication date: 23 Feb 2016
Filing date: 18 Sep 2013
Inventors: Jan Kautz; Olivier Roullier; Bernd Bickel;
Original Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.