Emerging / Tech

New 3D algorithm for efficient printing

Article written by

Dara Jegede

Written on 24/10/2014 | Posted 3 years 25 days ago

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The PackMerger algorithm uses a similar principle to classic game block building game, Tetris The PackMerger algorithm uses a similar principle to classic game block building game, Tetris

Researchers from Purdue University in Indianapolis have developed two software algorithms which they claim will create a more efficient 3D print production process and reduce waste material. 

The PackMerger algorithm determines the best way to arrange the different components eliminating as many gaps as possible, with the segments then printed separately and assembled. The second program facilitates the creation of smaller support structures by defining the best way for the structure to sit in the printer tray with minimal support. Testing the algorithms, the researchers found that up to 30 percent less material was wasted and printing time was reduced by 40 perent on average.

The project resulted from the work of Juraj Vanek and Jorge Galicia, doctoral students and the University of Purdue, associate professor of computer graphics Bedrich Benes and Adobe researchers.

"To the best of our knowledge this is the first fully working 3-D volume-packing algorithm," Benes comments. 

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