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Chopper: Partitioning Models into 3D-Printable Parts
ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia), December 2012

Linjie Luo, Ilya Baran, Szymon Rusinkiewicz,
Wojciech Matusik


Chopper partitions a given 3D model into parts that are small enough to be 3D-printed and assembled into the original model. Left to right: the input chair model, Chopper’s partition (with a printing volume shown as a reference), printed parts, and assembled chair.

Abstract

3D printing technology is rapidly maturing and becoming ubiquitous. One of the remaining obstacles to wide-scale adoption is that the object to be printed must fit into the working volume of the 3D printer. We propose a framework, called Chopper, to decompose a large 3D object into smaller parts so that each part fits into the printing volume. These parts can then be assembled to form the original object. We formulate a number of desirable criteria for the partition, including assemblability, having few components, unobtrusiveness of the seams, and structural soundness. Chopper optimizes these criteria and generates a partition either automatically or with user guidance. Our prototype outputs the final decomposed parts with customized connectors on the interfaces. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Chopper on a variety of non-trivial real-world objects.

Citation (BibTeX)

Linjie Luo, Ilya Baran, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, and Wojciech Matusik. Chopper: Partitioning Models into 3D-Printable Parts. ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia) 31(6), December 2012.

Paper
  PDF file (17MB)

Video
  MP4 video (4:38, 24MB, no audio)

User study results
  PDF file (5MB)