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3D Printer Enables Variable Gloss

3D Printer Enables Variable Gloss

Written by David

December 9, 2020


New system enables realistic variations in glossiness across a 3D-printed surface. The advance could aid fine art reproduction and the design of prosthetics. Shape, color, and gloss. Those are an object’s three most salient visual features.


Currently, 3D printers can reproduce shape and color reasonably well. Gloss, however, remains a challenge. That’s because 3D printing hardware isn’t designed to deal with the different viscosities of the varnishes that lend surfaces a glossy or matte look.


MIT researcher Michael Foshey and his colleagues may have a solution. They’ve developed a combined hardware and software printing system that uses off-the-shelf varnishes to finish objects with realistic, spatially varying gloss patterns. Foshey calls the advance “a chapter in the book of how to do high-fidelity appearance reproduction using a 3D printer.” He envisions a range […]

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