Dizingof develops a super-fast Tetrahedral Modeling technique for super-fast 3D printing


dizingof tetrahedral modeling

Those that follow either Thingiverse or 3D art will likely be familiar with Dizingof. Asher Nahmius is a Thingiverse Superstar famous for beautifully confusing 3D math art, but in an odd case of copyright infringement he removed all of his files from the site. Nahmius felt his intellectual property was used in a manner by Stratasys and 3D Systems that violated its Creative Commons – Attribution – Noncommercial License. Models that Nahmius uploaded to Thingiverse under that license were printed on a Stratasys printer and displayed at a Stratasys booth without attribution, and a similar incident occurred involving 3D Systems. This post isn’t primarily about that though; it’s to show off a recent development of his.

The “tetrahedral modeling” does two things: “Converting a 3d model to a Volume-Triangles mesh – It retains the model’s outer surface intact and builds inside support structures – for FAST rapid prototyping (cut-short 3d printing time & material cost) OR with some Organic techniques create a Neuron Network mesh for aesthetic looking designs.” This is essentially a new type of infill. Typical infills consist of repetitive layers with varying-sized gaps in the design — 10% infill will have larger gaps in the design than 20% infill, creating a more hollow object that uses less material and prints faster. Nahmius has developed a technique that procedurally generates a support structure, based on 3D geometry, that uses less material than conventional infill methods.

I’m curious as to how Nahmius will release his technique, if at all. It’d be a great add-on to something like MeshLab. Such a program would save operators of 3D printers loads of material and time, two of the greatest costs in 3D printing (and still lower than conventional manufacturing). If he doesn’t release it, hopefully someone in the RepRap community will design their own procedural technique and get it into Slic3r.

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7 Responses to “Dizingof develops a super-fast Tetrahedral Modeling technique for super-fast 3D printing”

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  1. ThreeForm says:

    Dizingof does great work. That appears to be a Delaunay tetrahedralization of the sort generated by the open-source program TetGen (though there are others). TetGen was developed in 2005 by Dr. Hang Si at the Numerical Mathematics and Scientific Computing research group at the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics in Berlin. Tetrahedral meshes are normally used as input for simulations, but the edges can be turned into frames using a variety of free and open-source algorithms such as those used in programs like TopMod.

    TetGen is written in C and could be added to Meshlab without too much trouble, so your suggestion could be helpful for those who don’t like command-line apps.

    • Cameron Naramore says:

      Thank you for the informative comment. Hopefully someone with the know-how will make such an addition. I’m not very efficient with command-line apps.

  2. Daid says:

    Slic3r is not the only FOSS toolpath generator tool out there.
    And printing objects like this won’t save time, due to all the retraction involved.

    • Cameron Naramore says:

      I referenced Slic3r because it’s open source and has more control than KISSlicer. I haven’t noticed too much time lost on retraction, but I haven’t timed its use either.

  3. t.c. doeh says:

    I’d like to mention that actually I think I’m actually the first to do this (no criticism of Dizingof’s work, its great). I’ve been working in mesh generation for a long time, and developed my own code(s). About a year ago I printed my first 3-D printed tetrahedral mesh. I have shapeways info to prove that. I’ve printed several since then.

    Lately I’ve been working on all kinds of 3-D tet mesh structures/sculptures. You can visit my new webpage at:

    I’m not ‘releasing’ my code as of yet but I’m considering a Kickstarter or Indigogo campain to fund the work.

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