In Second Life, all objects are composed of 3D geometric primitives (called "prims" for short.) These prims have some form of texture applied, and are arranged to look like various objects.
The Prim Printer, then, takes in an image, and "builds" it out of cubes and rectangular prisms used as pixels. Below, you can see a picture of the Prim Printer, printed in prims using the Prim Printer.
If you were to select the objects composing the image and zoom in, exposing their wireframe, you would see that the image is not actually a texture, but composed of prims.
A perl script running off my computer at home reads in an image, converts it to a format suitable for sending to the Prim Printer, and then sends it in-world via XML-RPC. The Prim Printer running off of the Second Life servers then reconstructs the data stream from the Perl script.
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Site created by Rob Bloom.