Scientists have developed a new method of providing information on products printed on the 3D printer; they have printed a QR code inside the product itself; they have noted that this does not affect the taste or appearance of the products and does not require the use of any labels.
The technology is known as interqr and is being developed by staff of the University of Osaka in Japan. As a test of the concept, they recently printed on a 3D printer cookies that were smooth and looked normal from the outside but contained a pattern of air voids inside.
Although the patterns are not visible in normal lighting, they appear as silhouettes when the cookies are viewed from the front when lit at the rear. A normal smartphone can read the codes by opening the data that store the code inside.
In its present form, technology is used in relatively thin, to some extent semi-translucent food products printed on 3D printer, but scientists hope that it will ultimately provide producers, retailers and consumers with alternatives to more wasteful and expensive paper labels, which are usually affixed to fruit, or RFID labels on a package.
Later this month, scientists will report on the study at the 35th annual ACM Symposium on Software and User Interface Technologies. More details on how the interq system works are presented in the video above.