3D Copier

Disney Research Files Super-Fast 3D Printing Patent

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Last week, Walt Disney company filed another 3D printing patent, which leaves behind the traditional “layer-by-layer” approach. With their other patents, Disney could become a major force in the 3D printing market. 

Walt Disney company has put a lot of money and research in 3D printing. The facilities of Disney Research are using 3D printing for many different applications across their vast empire including a 3D Printed Olaf.

Last week, the entertainment company filed a new, much faster 3D printing patent. To do this, their technology circumvents the layer-by-layer approach of regular 3D printers and instead works on the assumption that there is already a physical copy of your desired print, instead of just a digital file – think of a 3D copier rather than a 3D printer.

How Does Disney‘s New 3D Printing Patent Work?


This new 3D printing method uses an optical assembly or a set of optics that relays a volumetric real image of the existing 3D object. This image is then relayed into a container which holds photo-curing liquid or resin and the light associated with the volumetric real image.

Light sources directing light onto the existing or target 3D object cause a portion or volume of the photo-curing liquid to be cured almost instantaneously and a 3D object is then generated all at once.

Once this process has taken place, the object can simply be plucked from the container it was printed in.

What may be most impressive about this technique is the fact that in several tests, this method proved effective in generating 3D objects in several minutes or less.

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Other 3D Printing Applications by Disney


As well as this, Disney Research has also developed their own proprietary 3D printing technology called “Printed Optics” which allows custom optical elements to be directly embedded in the body of an interactive device.

The way this works is that the optical elements can be used for sensing, display, and illumination all in your device. To demonstrate this, the company 3D printed fiber optic eyes to create animated eyes for interactive toys. They used a Stratasys Eden 3D printer for the demonstration and, as with everything Disney does, the potential for the applications of this technology are extremely vast.

Printed Optics is part of Disney’s “long-term vision for the production of interactive devices that are 3D printed in their entirety,” according to the company.

But, that’s also not all as this impressive entertainment giant as they are even working on the interactive design of 3D printable robotic creatures which allow casual users to quickly create 3D printable robotic creatures.

To do this, they simply cut out the tedious parts of the design process and allow you to customize the morphology, proportions, gait and motion style of your robot.

To learn more about this, check out the video below and let us know what you think of Disney’s impressive 3D printing work in the comments.