Apprintus 3D Printed Art. Source: Apprintus
Apprintus 3D Printed Art. Source: Apprintus

A Utah company, Apprintus, is using 3D printing technology to change the way we see and feel printed fine art paintings and photographs. The company has developed a way to replicate brush strokes, giving a printed painting the 3rd dimension that you would normally find in an original.

“Apprintus is changing the way the world views and appreciates art,” said Tod Schroeder, VP Sales and Maketing at Apprintus. “3D Art is a game-changing innovation. “Instead of looking at flat, 2-dimensional art found in giclée printing, Apprintus offers the rich, full-body texture that replicates an artist original or the interpreted texture derived by the Apprintus Digital Image Process. Now, 3D art breathes life into a formerly flat, 2D art world. Imagine owning a limited-edition masterpiece that mirrors its original hanging in a museum or gallery.”

For original works of art, Apprintus uses a 3D Laser Scanner to record the high-resolution color and specularity, or reflection of light, of every pixel in the X, Y and Z axis. The laser captures true color that is independent of ambient light. This 3D scanning process allows for exact reproduction of the artist's original art.

The company can also add 3 dimensions to photographs using a software process developed by Appritus. The photographer can apply texture to specific areas of a photographic image like hair, textiles, jewelry, or other elements. The photographer can also use photo editing software to apply a filter that converts an image to a specific paint-like genre. The Apprintus Digital Image Process applies texture and dimension based on the strokes of the filtered image.

Like other 3D printing technologies, Apprintus deposits material layer by layer to build up the thickness of the ink and add the texture and third dimension to the painting. The ink used to print the art is ultraviolet-cured resin and can print in the entire CMYK spectrum of colors. This creates a 3D, photorealistic print that looks like the original painting.

According to the company, the anticipated target markets include art lovers purchasing fine art for their homes, and corporations, hotels and restaurants that use the art as part of their décor. Apprintus is also working with artists and photographers so they can offer 3D prints of their original art.

Currently Apprintus has a crowd funding campaign at Indiegogo.com which ends on March 1, 2014. The company will use the funds to help with marketing, operations, and overhead expenses. Backers of the project can receive their own 3D art in different sizes depending on how much is pledged. For example, a pledge of $40 earns a 6” x 6” 3D print of one of the campaign images. A pledge of $550 earns 16” x 20” 3D print of your own photo. There are many other pledge levels available.  

After the indiegogo campaign, 3D art will be available on their website, www.apprintus.com.