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Article

Algorithm for the Conformal 3D Printing on Non-Planar Tessellated Surfaces: Applicability in Patterns and Lattices

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Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Monterrey 64849, NL, Mexico
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Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Querétaro 76130, QE, Mexico
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Laboratorio Nacional de Manufactura Aditiva y Digital (MADIT), Apodaca 66629, NL, Mexico
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Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Zapopan 45138, JA, Mexico
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors are part of the Research Group on Robotics at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.
These authors are part of the Metamaterials Lab Group at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.
Academic Editor: Giangiacomo Minak
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7509; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167509
Received: 24 July 2021 / Revised: 10 August 2021 / Accepted: 13 August 2021 / Published: 16 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Additive Manufacturing Technologies)
In contrast to the traditional 3D printing process, where material is deposited layer-by-layer on horizontal flat surfaces, conformal 3D printing enables users to create structures on non-planar surfaces for different and innovative applications. Translating a 2D pattern to any arbitrary non-planar surface, such as a tessellated one, is challenging because the available software for printing is limited to planar slicing. The present research outlines an easy-to-use mathematical algorithm to project a printing trajectory as a sequence of points through a vector-defined direction on any triangle-tessellated non-planar surface. The algorithm processes the ordered points of the 2D version of the printing trajectory, the tessellated STL files of the target surface, and the projection direction. It then generates the new trajectory lying on the target surface with the G-code instructions for the printer. As a proof of concept, several examples are presented, including a Hilbert curve and lattices printed on curved surfaces, using a conventional fused filament fabrication machine. The algorithm’s effectiveness is further demonstrated by translating a printing trajectory to an analytical surface. The surface is tessellated and fed to the algorithm as an input to compare the results, demonstrating that the error depends on the resolution of the tessellated surface rather than on the algorithm itself. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; non-planar printing trajectory; conformal printing; curved layer printing; trajectory projection; conformal fused filament; lattice materials additive manufacturing; non-planar printing trajectory; conformal printing; curved layer printing; trajectory projection; conformal fused filament; lattice materials
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rodriguez-Padilla, C.; Cuan-Urquizo, E.; Roman-Flores, A.; Gordillo, J.L.; Vázquez-Hurtado, C. Algorithm for the Conformal 3D Printing on Non-Planar Tessellated Surfaces: Applicability in Patterns and Lattices. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 7509. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167509

AMA Style

Rodriguez-Padilla C, Cuan-Urquizo E, Roman-Flores A, Gordillo JL, Vázquez-Hurtado C. Algorithm for the Conformal 3D Printing on Non-Planar Tessellated Surfaces: Applicability in Patterns and Lattices. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(16):7509. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167509

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rodriguez-Padilla, Consuelo, Enrique Cuan-Urquizo, Armando Roman-Flores, José L. Gordillo, and Carlos Vázquez-Hurtado. 2021. "Algorithm for the Conformal 3D Printing on Non-Planar Tessellated Surfaces: Applicability in Patterns and Lattices" Applied Sciences 11, no. 16: 7509. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167509

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