2.5D Printing Brings Rich Texture on Paper

The Japanese company Casio designed a printing mechanism that falls right in between a regular painting process and new 3D printing technologies. It is aimed to provide education material, especially for the blind, tactile learning and mapping as well as dynamic graphics.

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Imagine a world without colors or sunlight. For many visually impaired people around the world this is everyday life. Mostly they need assistance in order to be able to be a part of society. Especially in education, the lack of sight can be a great hindrance. CASIO has developed a brand new 2.5D printer which tackles this challenge.

Yes, you heard right. After 2D and 3D printing, 2.5D printing is the newest companion in printing industry. The Japanese company Casio designed a printing mechanism that falls right in between a regular painting process and new 3D printing technologies. It is aimed to provide education material, especially for the blind, tactile learning and mapping as well as dynamic graphics.

Even though the 2.5D printers look almost like regular ink printers, the paper used is somewhat special. Basically consists of several layers of different material; one containing plastic capsules that expand when heated up. The printer uses heat absorbing black ink on areas that are supposed to have a texture later. More black ink on certain areas means a greater embodiment of heat which increases the textural effect. After being exposed to 90 centigrade under a halogen lamp, the paper can rise up to 2 millimeter.

The Japanese electronics manufacturer proclaimed that a broad variety of applications are possible for 2.5D printing. Their main focus lays on education for visually impaired people. Not only can the printer produce high quality Braille text but it can also be used to print tactile images. This valuable addition makes it possible for blind school children to experience the shapes and forms of human anatomy or animals or to showcase mathematical graphs and business charts.

This new technology has been presented to the public recently in Japan but the 2.5D printers are not marketable yet. For more information on Casio’s invention click here.

What comes after 2D, 2.5D, 3D and even 4D? Are there limitations in print technology? And how can 2.5D printing be used besides in education for visually impaired people? Let us know in a comment below!