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Designing the Microstructure of Printed Objects


The new design system catalogues the properties of many cube clusters, which can then serve as building blocks for larger printable objects.

Researchers in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a design system that catalogues the physical properties of a huge number of tiny cube clusters, which can then serve as building blocks for larger printable objects.

Credit: Computational Fabrication Group/Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new design system for cataloging the physical characteristics of a huge number of tiny cube clusters that can function as building blocks for larger printable objects, using microscale measurements and enabling computationally efficient assessment of macroscopic designs.

The process starts by first defining a three-dimensional space of physical properties, in which any given microstructure will assume a specific location.

The MIT algorithm explores the entire space of properties by randomly generating new clusters and altering clusters whose properties are known, producing a point cloud that defines the space of printable clusters. The researchers then calculate the level set function to define the cloud's shape, after which the object to be printed is optimized using custom-developed software.

The CSAIL research was presented at the ACM SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles.

From MIT News
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