Another fascinating 3D printing-pertinent delight from SIGGRAPH 2013!
Make It Stand: balancing shapes for 3D printing.
With the advent of 3D printing technologies, it becomes very simple to produce 3D physical models. Unfortunately, because there is usually no indication of gravity, support or weight in a 3D modeler, 3D printed models often fail to balance, making it mandatory to glue the printed objects onto a heavy pedestal.
The authors of Make It Stand (technical paper, pdf) want to assist users in modifying existing 3D models to create novel, balanced designs.
“Using our approach, the user interactively edits a shape and cooperates with our optimizer towards the final result. The optimizer constantly improves the design to ensure that, after printing, it will stand on its intended basis with the chosen orientation.
“The input to our algorithm is a surface mesh representing a solid object, a number of desired contact points and the desired orientation (i.e., gravity direction). We exploit two main degrees of freedom when modifying the model: our algorithm carves and deforms the object to improve its equilibrium. We seek to minimize deviations from the intended shape, and therefore the algorithm searches for a compromise between removing matter from the interior and de- forming the surface. We explore two modes of balancing: (i) standing on a flat surface, and (ii) orientation of suspended objects. In both cases the user specifies as input the base of support or the attachment points. Our method enables to simultaneously optimize for several desired modes, e.g. several standing orientations.”
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!