This New Print Process showcases how you can blend traditional print processes with the new world of 3D printing to create something special.
In Spain’s Museo Del Prado, new technology lets blind people—and everyone—touch art masterpieces. Think of it as braille for paintings. They aren’t the original paintings themselves, of course, but rather detailed high-resolution replicas. Thanks to a new 3D-printing process called Didú, which creates physical objects the way a 3D printer would but applies particular chemicals that allow for more sensory detail when touched, viewers can experience the paintings in a new way.
“After this, we select the most suitable textures and volumes to guide the blind person’s hands. In this aspect, small details, which may appear insignificant at first sight, can be fundamental in understanding the composition or the theme developed in each image. After around forty hours of work on each image, the volumes and textures are defined and printed with special ink. After this, a chemical method is applied that gives volume to the initially flat elements. On these, we print the real image with the original colors, at a suitable size so that it can be touched and reached with the hands.”
Currently there are six paintings displayed at the museum in the Hoy toca el Prado (Touch the Prado) exhibit, including masterpieces from El Greco, Diego Valaquez, and Leonardo Da Vinci.
A few years back this technology was showcased at Graph Expo here in Chicago and I was wondering where it would find its best application. At the time, they were showcasing how you could create three-dimensional children’s comic books, including characters that popped off the page and certain textures applied to images. This new use for the technology seems to be exactly the niche it was looking for.
Check out this cool video of this unique new print process