Paper 3D Printing, How Do You Perfect It?

Hands-free paper models, courtesy of 3D printing

Wouldn’t it be great to make your own dollhouse out of paper and other easy-to-find materials? If you’re an architecture or design student, paper models can be a lot of fun… or a huge pain.

Making a model house can be a pleasure or a pain.  (Image: stux @Pixabay)

Because of their small size and fragile materials, traditional paper models require a lot of time and concentration and are also easy to damage.

Is there a way around these problems? Instead of making paper models by hand, how about printing them?

Can’t make models? Print them! (Photo: Peggy Sha)

This year’s Discovering Technology Treasures exhibition in Taichung included several 3D printed paper models. Printed paper materials differ from most other 3D printing materials that you may have seen: for example, printer design and choice of paper.

Making 3D printed paper models is a completely different experience. (Photo: Peggy Sha)

The Printing Technology Research Institute has improved quality in order to get better printing results, making the paper sturdier and adding fragrance so you can make models that smell like lemongrass or lavender. This means you can print a paper flower that smells just like the real thing!

This printing method involves spraying ink on paper models as they’re printed, which can make extremely colourful final products. However, because 3D printing uses additive manufacturing, if you look closely you can see that the colors are applied unevenly in stripes or circles.

Paper models can be colored while they print, but the color is applied in stripes or circles. (Photo: Peggy Sha)

The team has also published a 3D design website where people can pick from available models or create their own and look at simulations of their final products, which makes the process a lot easier.

Paper 3D printing makes it easy to create your own paper models. (Photo: Peggy Sha)

Eco-friendly paper

Some manufacturers have already adopted paper 3D printing and made a variety of figurines which are vividly colored, affordable and also friendly to the environment, unlike plastic. Colors are applied during printing, and you can save money by coloring only visible areas.

  • Tested has done an interview on paper 3D printing. You can also check out the paper 3D printing process here.

If you prefer making your own paper models by hand, you can also check out this tutorial: https://steachs.com/archives/38265

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