New developments are afoot in color sheen printing. Recently researchers at Adobe Systems and Dartmouth college managed to create an inkjet printer capable of producing reflective surfaces in a variety of colors.
Their color thermal printer is "versatile enough to print many metallic inks and foils as well as standard inks."
One issue they've encountered is a way to capture reflectivity information from objects, which would then be fed back into the printer for reproduction. How do you easily measure and capture reflectivity information?
But here's the part that interested us:
The goal is to combine the technique with 3D printing to create 3D objects that look more realistic
Imagine metallic-appearing surfaces on non-metallic objects. Or printing a MakerBot coin that actually looks like a coin. Or printing real coins. Well, perhaps not.