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Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing - Kabuki Samurai 2

3D model description

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing - Kabuki Samurai 2

With this 3D printed woodblock Ukiyo-e technique, you can print as many pictures as you like. Printing is super relaxing and a great way to spend the day. You just need to know someone with a 3D printer and have some basic art supplies.

These 3D files were created by a manually tracing lines and colour separating instead of using automatic software, this method produces warmer reproductions of the original artwork, like listening to a vinyl record rather than digital. The result in my opinion is a more beautiful and true-er version of famous Japanese works. You can print your own pictures using with acrylic, water colour or even ink, on paper or cloth.

This is a landscape print for a paper size of approximately A4, but I recommend slightly larger paper size in order to have a border. It consists of 6 'woodblocks'. You can refer to my finished image or even the original for a colour reference but choose your own colours by all means. Note: plate number 3 has two colours - Aquamarine and Light Blue (circled in picture). See pic for reference.

I number all the files to show the order in which they should be used, this is so that when you start printing with paint you don't get a strong layer of colour hiding the layers beneath it.

The plates will last for many prints if you take care of them, if you use acrylic which dries in a few minutes, you don't have to wash the first layer of old paint off, in fact the surface gets a bit better after one layer of old paint has dried onto it, but you should wash paint off from subsequent print sessions to avoid build-up. I usually place them in soapy water and wash them all together only when I'm done with the session.

More info at

More designs to come. Enjoy!

3D printing settings

3D Print settings: I personally use 0.6mm nozzle and a 0.3mm layer for speed, but the regular 0.4mm nozzle with a 0.2mm layer will give you even better detail but takes longer. The prints generally require a 300mm x 300mm print size, if your 3D printer is smaller then just scale the plates down. But only scale in the X and Y directions, not the Z, you must maintain the same thickness. This is important for the ukiyo-e printing technique to work properly. Use printer settings that create 100% solids rather than honeycomb inside, the results will be better. Don't just set 100% infill setting to achieve a solid print. This will normally make the 3D printer do long stretches of print head zigzagging while it tries to do a very fine honeycomb structure, this causes lots of vibrations and noise. Instead, by specifying a high enough number for the 'top/bottom infill layers', higher than the number of actual layers required to print the panel, the printer is forced to do a more efficient back and forth movement pattern (just like it does for normal bottom and top layers) for every single layer, resulting in a better version of 100% infill, with smoother movement and less vibes.

After printing each plate, use a sanding block and 120+ grit sandpaper to make the top surface really flat so it holds paint evenly. This does not take long if you have used PLA plastic, since it is quite soft. Note: The solid strip of plastic at the top does not need sanding, it is there for you to attach your paper using masking tape - see my instruction PDF called 'The Kit'.

  • 3D file format: PDF and STL



Designs 19
Downloads 188

Dear Cults and Friends,

Thankyou for featuring my work this month! Now it will be a memorable month for more than just this crazy (but very necessary) lock-down. In the face of the pandemic, 3D printing is showing off its awesomeness all around the world, making emergency parts for hospitals as well as keeping us entertained at home. I'm proud to be part of it. Brilliant!

Merci Cults! Je suis très honoré.

I spent my childhood taking things apart to see how they worked, then I discovered design and started putting things together, now I am an artist and industrial designer.

I only started 3D printing in 2016 and I've learned a lot since, I now prototype various designs of experimental 3D printers and also developing a form of modern 3D printed Ukiyo-e woodblock printing.

Since we are on lock-down here in France, I've been using my time to upload more 3D printed Ukiyo-e 'woodblocks' to Cults, the ones for beginners are free. Try it out and enjoy making something simple beautiful with your mind and hands.

This short video introduces my process -


Bram Tan aka Printer With Attitude



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