Block printing is one of the oldest methods to mass reproduce artwork and the written word. This guide to 3D printing a modern version, posted by Instructables user pseaton, will allow you to create a simple 3D printed template that you can use to stamp whatever image you want onto pretty much any flat surface that you can find.
Pseaton suggests that you use a high quality 3D printer and he does specifically mention avoiding MakerBots, but I’m assuming that he simply means all desktop 3D printers. He used an Objet500 Connex to print his plates, so if you’re looking to do this you’re most likely going to need to know someone with access to a professional / industrial grade 3D printer, head over to Shapeways or a local bureaux or find someone on 3DHubs to have it 3D printed at the proposed level of detail.
My first attempt was with this picture of Lady Gaga. I assumed that the graphic nature of the image would translate very well to the pixilated image and it came out pretty cool. This Ron Swanson image fared a little better, but I had trouble finding a picture detailed enough to get the full majesty of his mustache. I ended up really liking how this picture of Peter Capaldi as the new ‘Doctor Who’ came out.
It occurred to me that these plates would also make pretty fantastic artwork themselves, even if you don’t use them as stamps. You could either paint them, or simply print them in a very shiny material and allow light to show off the detail of the image.
You can read through the entire Instructable here, and if you have any questions about the process you can post a comment there. And pseaton is in the comments and responding. As always if you’ve made some of these yourself please show them off in the comments or tweet them to me @sjgrunewald.