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Shape Optimization for 3D Printing

Gewinner - Best Technical Solution


  • Przemyslaw Musialski (TU Wien)
  • Thomas Auzinger (TU Wien und University of Tokyo)
  • Michael Birsak (TU Wien)
  • Michael Wimmer (TU Wien)
  • Leif Kobbelt (RWTH Aachen)

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Traditionally, 3d modelling in computer graphics deals with the geometric and visual aspects of 3d shapes. On the other hand, due to the growing capabilities of personal digital fabrication technology and its spread into offices and homes, 3d models are increasingly entering the physical world. Therefore, the physical properties of 3d models come into focus. For example, 3d-printed models should be able to stand balanced in a desired pose without toppling over, or should react in certain ways when external forces are applied, like spinning the object. It is thus desirable to have a method that allows the user to specify the intended physical properties of an object in addition to its 3d geometry, and which automatically takes these properties into account when generating a specification for a 3d printer.
In this project we provide such a method which optimizes a given geometric object in order to make it fulfill the desired goal. The goal can be to make the object stand, spin, or even float. We solve the problem by adjusting the physical mass properties of solid bodies by slightly deforming their surface in their interior and possibly also exterior. Our method is an elegant mathematical formulation which is very flexible and efficient. The details of the method have been accepted as full technical paper to the ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 conference, and it has been published in the ACM Transactions on Graphics journal.

We will release the prototypic source-code of our method to the public, and we also plan to integrate our solution into the successful open-source modeling software Blender in order to let the growing community of 3D printing practitioners gain the advantages of our technical solution.

The project has been initiated by and completed under the lead of Dr. Przemyslaw Musialski at the Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms of the TU Wien. It is a collaboration with Prof. Dr. Leif Kobbelt from the RWTH Aachen University. Further project members are Dr. Thomas Auzinger (former TU Wien, now University of Tokyo), Michael Birsak (PhD-Student at TU Wien), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Michael Wimmer (TU Wien).

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