[Part 2] Exploration into View-Master reels in the 21st century


The voyage to the center of the View-Master reel continues:

See where this journey started.

I was able to find some inkjet printable transparency (cellulose acetate) – which I found can be a bit difficult in an age where teachers no longer keep an overhead projector in classrooms. I sent the transparency through a photo-printer at about 1600dpi, set to a photo-gloss paper stock setting. Even our printers, and their drivers, have forgotten the days of printing to transparency as there was no print stock setting for it. But, even at such a high dpi, the reel did not come out even near what we see in the original view-master reals and their cut 35mm slide film. 1600dpi in a 10.5mm view window just doesn’t give a lot of area for resolution. Given that 10mm is just under .4 of an inch, I estimate that the resolution of each view window is maybe at best 640dpi. 

The photos are viewable, and for the most part to align in the viewer, but are a bit blurry and not near “photo-quality.”

But lightyears better that the initial b&w prototype that was just ran through a simple laser jet copier.

Continuing with modifications:

Something I might try changing is the print stock setting; setting it to a matte or semi-gloss setting to see if their is any difference. I had forgot that cellulose acetate is indeed clear but its printable side is rough for the ink to set onto it. I don’t think it will make much of a difference with the resolution, but it is something I may tire to compare. In this case, printing technology just can’t beat out photo film of yesteryear.The reel itself I have found is a little small. I may try making it 1mm-2mm wider in scale just so I can see if I can get the windows larger. I found with this prototype that although the reel fits well in the View-master, their was quite a bit of frame visible around the photo. I may not have printed exactly to scale when I sent it through the 3D printer.

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