Anti-aliasing for fused filament deposition

09/10/2016 ∙ by Hai-Chuan Song, et al. ∙ 0

Layered manufacturing inherently suffers from staircase defects along surfaces that are gently slopped with respect to the build direction. Reducing the slice thickness improves the situation but never resolves it completely as flat layers remain a poor approximation of the true surface in these regions. In addition, reducing the slice thickness largely increases the print time. In this work we focus on a simple yet effective technique to improve the print accuracy for layered manufacturing by filament deposition. Our method works with standard three-axis 3D filament printers (e.g. the typical, widely available 3D printers), using standard extrusion nozzles. It better reproduces the geometry of sloped surfaces without increasing the print time. Our key idea is to perform a local anti-aliasing, working at a sub-layer accuracy to produce slightly curved deposition paths and reduce approximation errors. This is inspired by Computer Graphics anti-aliasing techniques which consider sub-pixel precision to treat aliasing effects. We show that the necessary deviation in height compared to standard slicing is bounded by half the layer thickness. Therefore, the height changes remain small and plastic deposition remains reliable. We further split and order paths to minimize defects due to the extruder nozzle shape, avoiding any change to the existing hardware. We apply and analyze our approach on 3D printed examples, showing that our technique greatly improves surface accuracy and silhouette quality while keeping the print time nearly identical.

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