Have you heard of 2D printing? It’s like 3D printing, but without the pesky Z axis. Jokes aside, 3D printers are amazingly versatile tools, as demonstrated in Matthew Rayfield’s recent hack.
This build is actually something of a continuation of another hack where he uses the printer’s movement to create a pen plotter. In this iteration, however, he’s not drawing lines, but instead stamps a pen in individual points as pixels — creating rasterized versions of his face and other objects. This can be done in a very high resolution (which takes a long time), or a low-res effect with a very fat marker — which probably makes more sense since you can simply buy a printer if realism is what you need.
As cool as that is, what makes it orders of magnitude more useful for you is that he’s created a web app to produce G-Code to control your printer based on an image. So all you have to do is load the image you want onto this page, and it’ll spit something out that you can use right now. The web app can even produce multiple colors, though you’ll need a way to properly align the pen unless you’re really good with rubber bands.
On the other hand, if you’re going to do this, you already have a 3D printer, so you can certainly come up with something that fits your needs. Be sure to check out his explanation in the video below, then start printing!