A new 3D printing innovation to eliminate stair tread artifacts developed by Fraunhofer IGD


A new geometric and algorithmic method for the elimination of jagged artifacts in multi-material 3D printing has been devised by scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Darmstadt, Germany.

The research team has outlined the findings in a paper to be published to coincide with SIGGRAPHa conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Jagged artifacts are unavoidable in conventional 3D printing processes, being visually disturbing and sometimes structurally detrimental to printing. The process developed by Fraunhofer Institute researchers for PolyJet printers minimizes quantization errors, making jagged artifacts more noticeable.

To avoid quantization errors, the surface is modulated with a high frequency signal. The result is geometrically precise and color-accurate surfaces.

Modulating the surface with a high frequency signal, such as blue noise, leads to a distribution of quantization errors at high frequencies, which are then eliminated by the function of the human eye and multiple printing processes.

Alan Brunton, a member of the three-person team that wrote the report, explained: “The print time remains the same regardless of the process. The dithering process also does not require any additional computation time.

The process is used in the entertainment industry, for characters and objects in animated films, video games and board games. Elements benefit from the geometric and color precision that is part of the shape screening approach and therefore look particularly realistic.

The solution presented in the article by Fraunhofer scientists was used with the Cuttlefish 3D printer driver developed by Fraunhofer IGD. The team plans to investigate the additional hypothesis of whether the smoother surface that can now be achieved is also stronger.

The Cuttlefish 3D printer driver has been optimized with Stratasys PolyJet technology last summer when the leading 3D printer manufacturer announced that it would support the institute with future software enhancements.

The paper, titled Shape screening for 3D printinghas been accepted for presentation at SIGGRAPH 2022, a computer graphics fair, and will be presented by Mostafa Morsy Abdelkader Morsy, the lead author.

The full document is available here.

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