Centre For Print Research, University of the West of England
The Centre For Print Research (CFPR) is based at the University of the West of England, Bristol. The CFPR has a mission to innovate, contemplate and understand all aspects of print history, practice, manufacturing and materials from developing 3D printable ceramic materials to disruptive printing technologies, developing new inks and collaborating with international artists.
With an interest and experience of applying our research to societal challenges, sustainable development goals including Good Health and Wellbeing our recent areas of focus include:
Unesco4all Tour, 2021
The Unesco4all Tour project was undertaken with the aim of producing replicas to be displayed at UNESCO World Heritage sites to aid visually impaired audiences. The scope of the design research was to develop accessible, innovative, transnational cultural tourism products and experiences by integrating tactile exploration with audio data for this target audience.
Researchers tested a high-tech “ring” detection of Near Field Connectivity (NFC) tags integrated into 3D printed artefact replicas. NFC sensors located on tactile surfaces are triggered to communicate wirelessly with a smart device (through an app for tablets or mobile phones).
A team at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) led by Fabio D’Agnano found innovative solutions for the production of three dimensional models for tactile exploration. This required translating real objects into digital models through photogrammetry, digital 3D modelling and digital sculpting. Digital models were then built using a variety of materials and techniques including Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) routing, laser cutting and engraving, and resin 3D printing. One of the main challenges was to create a precise replica of an artefact, of considerable size and at reasonable expense. In addition the material used needed to be easy to maintain and pleasant to touch.