Here’s something that sounds too good to be true, reports Fortune's Andrew Zaleski: a 3D printer that churns out objects in full color and uses everyday office paper (instead of plastic) as the build material. A product like that could revolutionize the home design and construction business.
In fact, this is exactly what Mcor Technologies unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The new 3D printer, Arke is the desktop version of an industrial-size, paper-based, full-color printer the company released in 2013. Zaleski describes how it works:
Instead of plastics or other materials, the printer uses an adhesive to stick together sheets of paper fed into the machine in a fashion similar to that of 2D laser printers. Once sheets of paper have been layered on top of one another, a slicer cuts the profile of the shape being printed. What the machine spits out at the end looks like a block of office paper, but the finished print is actually on the inside. The sections of paper sheets that are glued together more strongly make up the 3D print, while the sections of paper sheets loosely adhered serve as a support structure to keep the 3D print intact until it’s finished. When complete, a person peels away the excess paper, leaving behind the final 3D print.