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Shapes In A Box – Disassembling 3D objects for efficient packing and fabrication

by   Marco Attene, et al.

Modern 3D printing technologies and the upcoming mass-customization paradigm call for efficient methods to produce and distribute arbitrarily-shaped 3D objects. This paper introduces an original algorithm to split a 3D model in parts that can be efficiently packed within a box, with the objective of reassembling them after delivery. The first step consists in the creation of a hierarchy of possible parts that can be tightly packed within their minimum bounding boxes. In a second step, the hierarchy is exploited to extract the (single) segmentation whose parts can be most tightly packed. The fact that shape packing is an NP-complete problem justifies the use of heuristics and approximated solutions whose efficacy and efficiency must be assessed. Extensive experimentation demonstrates that our algorithm produces satisfactory results for arbitrarily-shaped objects while being comparable to ad-hoc methods when specific shapes are considered.


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