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Makerbot and Chang-rae Lee partner to make 3D printed book slipcase

December 14, 2013 • News, Technology

Acclaimed author Chang-rae Lee, winner of the Hemmingway Foundation/PEN award for first fiction, and 3D printer manufacturer Makerbot have partnered to create a limited-edition 3D printed slipcase for Lee’s upcoming novel On Such a Full Sea.

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According to the news release on the blog, the release date is scheduled for 7 January 2014. Only 200 of the case, which was designed by Helen Yentus and the MakerBot team, will be made using the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. Each will include a copy of the book signed by Lee.

Lee readily embraced the idea of a 3D printed slipcase for his new book, which tells of the story of one woman’s place in a vividly depicted near-future America.

“What I like about this is that it revisits the book as an object rather than only content. Content is what’s most important ultimately of course, but this is a book with a certain movement to it that regular books don’t have,” said Lee.

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“Maybe it’s the particular design, but it feels as if it’s kinetic. What is inside is kinetic, but the physical thing is usually not. It’s supposed to sort of sit there and not move. But this one feels like it’s sort of moving, which I like. It’s also quite elegant.”

The slipcase is meant not only to protect the book, but to look like an extension of it, as it expands the title with the words coming out in 3D printed form.

With much of writing being offered in digital media, MakerBot is delighted that readers will still have the best of both worlds through access to physical books that would combine cutting edge technology and traditional printed pages.

“We hope that the 3D printed slipcase for On Such a Full Sea inspires authors and publishers to find innovative ways to use 3D printing to enhance the experience for their readers. Of course we don’t know what those will be yet, but that’s the exciting part!” said MakerBot’s Jimmy Wohl on the blog.

Images courtesy of MakerBot blog

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