New Algorithm Developed for 3D Printing

Just in time for Christmas, Simon Fraser University computing science professor Richard Zhang reveals how to print a 3D Christmas tree efficiently and with zero material waste, using the world’s first algorithm for automatically decomposing a 3D object into what are called pyramidal parts.

A pyramidal part has a flat base with the remainder of the shape forming upwards over the base with no overhangs, much like a pyramid. A pyramidal shape is optimal for 3D printing because it incurs no material waste and saves print time. The algorithm promises to become a big deal in the world of 3D printing, and also has applications for designing molds and for casting.

Zhang, a computer graphics expert specializing in geometric modeling and processing, developed the algorithm with PhD candidate Ruizhen Hu, an international student from Zhejiang University in China. Their research paper, Approximate Pyramidal Shape Decomposition, was published this month in ACM Transaction on Graphics, the world’s leading graphics journal. As well, Hu presented their research at a major graphics conference, SIGGRAPH Asia, this month in Shenzhen, China. … (Read more)