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Published on December 28, 2016 by Microsoft Research

3D printers have become popular in recent years and enable fabrication of custom objects for home users. However, the cost of the material used in printing remains high. In this paper, we present an automatic solution to design a skin-frame structure for the purpose of reducing the material cost in printing a given 3D object. The frame structure is designed by an optimization scheme which significantly reduces material volume and is guaranteed to be physically stable, geometrically approximate, and printable. Furthermore, the number of struts is minimized by solving an l0 sparsity optimization. We formulate it as a multi-objective programming problem and an iterative extension of the preemptive algorithm is developed to find a compromise solution. We demonstrate the applicability and practicability of our solution by printing various objects using both powder-type and extrusion-type 3D printers. Our method is shown to be more cost-effective than previous works.

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