Thus when Ondrej Stava started as my intern in the summer of 2011 I already had this goal in mind: to analyze and fix printability problems that can occur during 3D printing or subsequent handling of computer generated objects. In particular, we wanted to make sure that a given object is going to be structurally stable and that it will not break, under normal use conditions, after it is printed.
We developed a system that addresses the printability issues by providing automatic detection and correction of the problematic cases.
Our system detects potential problematic cases by considering gravity and gripping forces by evaluating most possible places on the object where it can be held.
For each detected case the structural problems are evaluated by combining a lightweight structure analysis solver with 3D medial axis approximations. If areas with high structural stress are found, the model is corrected by combining three approaches: hollowing, thickening, and strut insertion. This detection and correction repeats until all problematic cases are corrected.
Our process is designed to create a model that is visually similar to the original model, while possessing greater structural integrity.