Perceptual Models of Preference in 3D Printing Direction

Authors: Xiaoting Zhang, Xinyi Le, Athina Panotopoulou, Emily Whiting & Charlie C.L. Wang

Research from VCL's Prof. Whiting and PhD student Athina Panotopoulou was presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 in Kobe, Japan. The work was in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong . The paper introduces a perceptual model for determining 3D printing orientations. Additive manufacturing methods involving low-cost 3D printers often require robust branching support structures to prevent material collapse at overhangs. Although the designed shape can successfully be made by adding supports, residual material remains at the contact points after the supports have been removed, resulting in unsightly surface artifacts. To prevent the visual impact of these artifacts, the paper presents a training-and-learning method to find printing directions that avoid placing supports in perceptually significant regions.

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