There was a RP company whose name I can't recall, now out of business, that made a machine based on paper based media. The paper was pre-coated with adhesive and was on a large roll. Basically, it differed from current systems in that the laser did not have to path the entire part surface geometry, but rather just it's margins, like a die-cut in effect. After each layer was done, the machine pulled another sheet of the adhesive-backed paper onto the prior one, and ran a roller over it to make it adhere. Then the laser traced the part perimiter on that next layer. The process was repeated as many layers as necessary. When completed, there was essentially a cube of bonded paper. At each layer, the machine would recognize the non-part geometry areas and divide them up into small cubes, which could then be removed from the resulting large cube on completion. This process was very good for very large parts with relatively simple geometry, because it was quite fast and relatively inexpensive. The resulting part was wood-like, and could be sanded, painted, etc. I used this process to create casting positives for a part that was sand cast.
@RNDDUDE: That process does sound reasonably close to what Mcor described, especially the layering of paper and adhesive part. One key difference I see is that the Matrix uses standard office paper so you don't have to load it up with specialized reams. That's part of the value proposition the company is pitching.
Im not saying this isnt great or anything, but I am saying there will be two issues here;
First when it is "printed" or cut(personally I think it will be a layering vinyl cutter) you will need some we to remove your project, whether the software automatically created draft or it cuts lines from wherever your troughs and peaks are.
Second it sounds great like it will be cheap and simple, but if 3DS sees it as a threat, they ill start buying and monopolizing the resources it uses. IE it will change from the liquid binder to a gel one. The gel will be on a spool and read by a PROM. Or it will use a reader on the liquid bottle that will do the same thing.
Another I just thought of, 3DS will claim you need to buy their propriotary paper because basic paper will pose a fire risk. It will not let you use regular paper eith because they will install a photocell with a 10lumen light, if it sees the light, youre not using their paper and the machine wont run
this printer, no. I dont see it happening to make printing plates. But if you have time to SLS a set of steel plates that mimics a 1995 series note. And have time to model up $20 bills I may see this working. And then youd need more time to touch up your plates because they dont print perfectly.
Meanwhile youll need the correct stock of paper, and you have a handfull of colors to match.
say a cam gear on your _____(insert any company name)breaks. You then take your car to the shop. They say no cam gears on the west coast, _____(same name) can have one sent here by next thursday. Or we can get the file from them and we can print it and your car will be done by later this afternoon, which would you prefer? Of course youll tell him to print it.
It sounds like the main apps are prototypes. I like the recyclability. But I can't see how using this can do much more than assess form. Fit and function won't likely be possible in most apps because paper is too delicate and crushable.
Once the paper layers are bonded and stacked, they have the density of hardwood, not really crushable. If there were thin sections, there would be fragility as there is in any non-metallic SLA process.
As you say, it's not easy. One of the biggest impediment to successful counterfeiting is the paper, which is not only heavyweight, but has actual colored fibers embedded within it. Then there's the huge amount of pressure used in the currency presses, which deeply embedded the ink in the paper. Finally, there's the recent (within last decade) additional wave of anticounterfeiting measures, including difficult-to-duplicate watermarks and microrprinting, and those vertical strips (in certain denominations) which are only visible when you hold a bill up to light. To obtain paper, some counterfeiters bleach ones and then try to reprint them as higher-denomination notes.
I remember seeing a 'Printer' at a machine tool show in Santa Clara, Calif. in about 1995-96 that used the paper on the roll, I think it was coated with plastic, and each layer was pressed by a heated platen. At that time, the liquid polymer with laser was about the only other printer around.
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