Branching Support Structures for 3D Printing

AbstractMost 3D printing processes can be modeled by an incrementalstacking of thin, flexible layers. In this case, it is apparent that forcomplex shapes, some stacks will be ”floating” in mid-air unlessthey are supported from below by additional material. Similarly ifa slice is much larger than the one below it, it will droop unless supported. These areas are called overhangs, and most3D printing software provides automated generation of some kindof support structure. However, the support is waste, of both timeand material, and this waste should be minimized.

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