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2.5D Printing: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and 3D Applications

2.5D Printing: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and 3D Applications

Carinna Parraman, Maria V. Ortiz Segovia

ISBN: 978-1-118-96730-0

Oct 2018

272 pages




A guide that examines the history and current state of 2.5D printing and explores the relationship between two and three dimensions

2.5D Printing: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and 3D Applications examines the relationship between two- and three-dimensional printing and explores the current ideas, methods, and applications. It provides insights about the diversity of our material culture and heritage and how this knowledge can be used to design and develop new methods for texture printing. The authors review the evolving research and interest in working towards developing methods to: capture, measure and model the surface qualities of 3D and 2D objects, represent the appearance of surface, material and textural qualities, and print or reproduce the material and textural qualities.

The text reflects information on the topic from a broad range of fields including science, technology, art, design, conservation, perception, and computer modelling. 2.5D Printing: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and 3D Applications provides a survey of traditional methods of capturing 2.5D through painting and sculpture, and how the human perception is able to judge and compare differences. This important text:

  • Bridges the gap between the technical and perceptual domains of 2D and 3D printing 
  • Discusses perceptual texture, color, illusion, and visual impact to offer a unique perspective 
  • Explores how to print a convincing rendering of texture that integrates the synthesis of texture in fine art paintings, with digital deposition printing 
  • Describes contemporary methods for capturing surface qualities and methods for modelling and measuring, and ways that it is currently being used 
  • Considers the impact of 2.5D for future technologies 

2.5D Printing is a hands-on guide that provides visual inspiration, comparisons between traditional and digital technologies, case studies, and a wealth of references to the world of texture printing.

Please visit the companion website at:

About the Authors ix

Series Editor’s Preface xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction xvii

1 Defining the Field of 2.5D Printing 1

1.1 What Is Texture? 1

1.1.1 How to Quantify Texture  2

1.1.2 How Do Artists Convey the Appearance of Texture? 3

1.1.3 How the Natural World Mimics the Appearance of Texture  4

1.2 Measuring Texture and Colour 5

1.3 Images, Pictures and Reproductions   9

1.3.1 The Anxiety of the Reproduction 11

1.3.2 Reproducing Images: Tools of the Trade 12

1.3.3 Reproducing Images: Colour and Texture 15

1.3.4 Reproductions versus Forgeries versus Copies 15

1.3.5 Are Facsimiles and Replicas Important?   17

1.3.6 Copying from Old Masters 19

1.3.7 Technical Examination of Artworks  20

1.4 The Authenticity of the Image and Object and Perception of Things  21

1.5 Current Industrial and Mechanical Methods to Reproduce the Appearance of Texture 24

1.5.1 2D Printing Methods 24

1.5.2 The Emergence of 3D Printing  25

1.6 Conclusion    28

References    29

Bibliography and Further Reading   30

2 The Past 35

2.1 Introduction    35

2.2 Artists’ Observations on the Appearance of Illumination    36

2.3 Artists’ Conversion of Images into Relief    39

2.4 Artists’ Exploration of Different Sculptural Relief 41

2.4.1 Examples of Degrees of Projection  45

2.5 Coloration of Relief Surfaces  49

2.5.1 Visualising and Reconstructing the Past   57

2.6 Examples of Artists’ Approaches to Representation and Reproduction of Texture    58

References    66

Bibliography and Further Reading   67

3 The Present: Materials, Making, Capturing and Measuring 69

3.1 Introduction: Universal Knowledge   69

3.2 The Relationship of Digital Technologies, Knowledge of Materials and kills     70

3.3 Methods to Capture and Measure Texture   78

3.3.1 Commercial and Specialist Scanners  78

3.3.2 Scanning for Cultural Heritage 82

3.3.3 In Pursuit of Standards: Metric versus Quality 84

3.4 Methods to Represent the Appearance of Texture   85

3.5 Physical Material Libraries   90

3.6 Methods for 2.5D Printing 92

3.6.1 Analogue versus Digital 93

3.6.2 Materials for Printing 96

3.6.3 Printing Functional Materials 102

References    105

Bibliography and Further Reading   108

4 The Future 115

4.1 Introduction    115

4.1.1 The Future of Education in Art Design and Sciences  115

4.1.2 The Future of Materials and Manufacture   116

4.2 Circular Economy and Sustainable Manufacturing   117

4.3 Worldwide Print Connectivity   119

4.4 Mass Printing for One 120

4.5 Security Printing 122

4.6 Conclusion    123

References    123

Bibliography and Further Reading   124

5 Case Studies 127

Case Study 1: Nature Printing in the Nineteenth Century 127

Case Study 2: Wallpaper Design   133

Wallpaper Printing Processes 134

Case Study 3: 2.5D Printed Tactile Books and Artworks   142

Examples of Tactile Images that Incorporate Multiplatform and Digital Print Technologies  148

Case Study 4: Coins and Medals   151

Making Coins   152

Medals of Dishonour Exhibition British Museum 155

Case Study 5: Capturing Texture of Paintings for Museum and Heritage   156

Visualising Surface Texture Through the Combination of 2D and 3D Data 157

Workflow: 3D Scanning and Processing 158

Generation of Colour RTI Images 158

Generation of Colour 3D Models 160

Case Study 6: Textiles 161

Case Study 7: Trompe l’Oeil   167

Case Study 8: Marble  170

Case Study 9: Gold   179

Printing Gold in the Digital Market Place    183

The Stafford Hoard and Gold Printing at The Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter   184

Case Study 10: Exterior Decoration Tiles and Ceramics   185

Twenty-first Century Ceramic Tile Inkjet Printing 190

Case Study 11: Microstructural Texture 195

Case Study 12: Painting Machines   203

Computer Simulations for Representing Materials and Objects 204

Direct Manipulation   205

Translating Brush Strokes into Painting Machines 206

Methods of Converting Images into Brushstrokes 208

Brush Strokes and Painting Machines 210

Case Study 13: Analogue Printing Methods 214

Intaglio 214

Relief Printing 217

Lithography    220

Screenprinting  221

Case Study 14: Relief Woodblock Printing 223

References    230

Bibliography and Further Reading   234

Index 239