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Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing - The Kimono

3D model description

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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 software, this method produces more accurate reproductions of the original artwork. Like listening to a vinyl record rather than digital. The result is a beautiful and true-er version of famous Japanese works. You can now print your own pictures using with acrylic, watercolour or even inks, on paper or cloth.

The Kimono design is a portrait print for a paper 500mm x 650mm, it consists of 5 plates A to E, made up of 4 x 3D printed panels each, you can tape the 4 panels together using gaffer tape (at the backside) before sanding - see pic.

Despite only having 5 plates, the artwork has 10 colours, i.e. two colours per plate. You should circle the features on the 'woodblocks' with a marker-pen to remind you to print these features a different colour to get all 10 colours. I have shown the separations of features by colour in my pictures.

Instructions on how to use print pictures with acrylic paint is in the video and the PDF called 'The Kit'.

More designs to come soon.


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 take a bit longer. The prints are 300mm x 300mm, if your 3D printer is smaller then just scale the plates down. But only scale in the X and Y directions, not the Z because you must maintain the same thickness. This is important for the printing technique to work properly.

Use printer settings that create 100% solids rather than honeycomb inside, the results will be better.

Note: Don't just set it to 100% infill setting to achieve a solid print. Avoid 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 number top/bottom infill layers that are higher than the number of layers, the printer is forced to do a more efficient back and forth movement pattern for every single layer, resulting in a better version of 100% infill.

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. The solid strip of plastic at the top does not need sanding, it is there for you to attach your paper, using masking tape, when you are ready to print onto paper.

  • 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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