Today, image mapping is de rigueur in the digital space. Create a texture, pattern or image and map, or wrap it to any digital from. In the physical world that gets difficult. Especially with graphics that need to be applied accurately and consistently onto complex 3D forms.
Researchers at Zheijiang University and Columbia University have developed a computational hydrographic printing technique that solves both distortion and registration issues. By pre scanning the target object, their system compensates for the image distortion that occurs as the printed substrate stretches around the object. A computer driven robotic arm ensures the accuracy of the objects position.
Hydrographic printing – the process of printing on a 3D surface by immersing the object into a liquid upon which is floating a film – has been around a while but its been fairly crude. I’m really hoping this novel approach comes on line soon. I’m already working on a full body tattoo for when I get immersed.
Credits go to Yizhong Zhang, Chunji Yin, Changxi Zheng, and Kun Zhou