I dropped off a leaf mold today at Ken Lovell’s lab (Yale Digital Media Center for the Arts). He is going to make a 3D scan of the surface of the mold, create a matrix that will be laid over the prints of the leaves. From this, he will morph the prints so they should vacuform right down onto the mold perfectly. As Ken said, in theory! I haven’t had a chance yet to use a milky subsurface on the acetate that will run through the inkjet printer.
One other note, I purchased some “Pabric” fabric that can be run through the inkjet printer. I made a test and wasn’t happy with the saturation of the color in the fabric (not saturated enough) or the ability to glue it to the vacuform leaf (the material is too heavy). The fabric printing still is a strong plan B. Ken mentioned today that he can get a printable polysilk (cheaply) that can also be run through the printer. The only problem with doing it with fabric is I lose some or all of the detail of the form of the leaf I can get with the vacuforming.