Study Leads to diverse Gloss 3D Prints


Surfaces have a wide range of properties in terms of opacity, shape, color, and gloss. However, by selecting the right type of material, and by modifying the geometry we can easily replicate the part that has to be printed (in terms of shape and texture). Still, recasting the glossiness of 3D prints is quite a challenging task.

However, the solution to this handy challenge has been founded by a team of researchers that can validate a new layer of realism to 3D prints. The researchers of this team came from top universities (MIT, the University of Lugano, Max Planck Institute, and Princeton University).

Gloss 3D prints

The Functionality of 3D Prints

The functionality of this printer is similar to that of a normal filament deposition 3D-printer. While this printer comes with an additional feature of a pressurized varnish reservoir. 

This printer consists of a large nozzle to produce varnish droplets. These droplets are of various sizes and coming out at high speed and deposit on the surface. Diversify these variables grant authority over the glossiness of the applied droplets. The volume of droplets is measure by a needle valve. Furthermore, varnish drop size and speed will depend upon the needle valve opening.

“The quickly it goes, the better it spreads out once it collided with the surface,” said Michael Foshey, a researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

“So we substantially deviate all these variable to get the droplet size we want.”

Gloss 3D prints

The researchers have to deviate the dot size to use the technique of halftoning to form a surface that looks uninterrupted to the human eye. However, on closer look is just dots separated, as much as you would contemplate from possessing a color comic book up to your face. You only see dots when putting a book at a close distance. But, when you put the book further from your eyes, the dots start forming the specter of varying tones.

A full spectrum of glossiness is attainable by diverting the positioning and size of these dots. This tech could be utilized to replicate admirable works of art and deliver the copies to museums and galleries for folks to adore without jeopardizing the original piece.

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