The Mofrel printer is finally bridging the gap between 3D and 2D with its ability to print in 2.5 dimension. Developed by Casio, the Mofrel is a 2.5D printer that uses heat generated from near-infrared light to create pages that feel like lather, wood, stitched fabric and whatever else the user can dream of. In order to achieve this, the paper must first be covered in a special micro-powder, which is contained in a microfilm laid on top of the paper. The printer will then run the paper through once to create the texture, and once the microfilm is removed by the user then the machine can do a second pass to apply the ink. Textures can be designed on the paper using a Mofrel utility plug-in that works with Photoshop.
Casio is launching the Mofrel printer not just as a fun project, but in an effort to use the technology to better prototype and develop future technology. The advantage to printing texture allows for reduced costs, as the printed material can be used to demonstrate early prototypes. Looking specifically at interior car design, apparel and construction materials, the Mofrel printer could easily print the necessary prototype materials saving costs when doing early designs.
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