This may be the first 100% 3D printed book in the world (that's text-based and FDM-printable). The pages, eight in all, consist of a single 0.2 mm layer. PLA plastic, at this thickness, makes a surprisingly sturdy, bendable material. The spine is likewise flexible, and allows each page to lie flat for easy viewing. But as each page takes about three hours to print, 3D printers won't be replacing printing presses anytime soon.
We are indebted to KMBond for the overall concept and an MIT Media Lab study for showing the potential of one-layer prints. During testing we found that 0.2 mm layer sheets were even sturdier than paper pages. The limiting factors for page design were printer extruder precision and font.
A stencil font was necessary to prevent the islands inside of letters, e.g. the triangle inside of A, from falling out.
The text is a sci-fi tale set in the late 2200s. It's inspired by Beowulf, Blade Runner, and online subcultures. The epic poem vibe is less an aesthetic choice than a result of the limited precision of our entry-level 3D printer, which can't print letters < 7 mm or objects > 230 mm.
After eight failed attempts to print a spiral, we opted for a spine consisting of more practical n-shaped loops. It's easy to slip pages in and nearly impossible for them to fall out.