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The project explores alternative design methods for additive manufacturing, aiming to unleash new creative possibilities through increased process control. It involves design approaches that encompass every aspect from initial design to final production. In traditional 3D printing, a design is sliced into layers and printed using specialized software. However, designers are often limited to a few parameters and lack full control over the technology's potential. By gaining a deep understanding of post-processing for additive manufacturing, designers can exert immediate control over digital fabrication and integrate construction instructions into the design process. Instead of designing a shape that will be post-processed, we focus on designing the entire production process, including toolpaths and production parameters.
To achieve this level of understanding, it is crucial to recognize and work within the limitations of the specific 3D printing machine. Factors such as build volume, angular constraints, and toolpath intersections need to be considered and compensated for. This knowledge is typically acquired through a process of trial and error. Once the machine's constraints are understood, designers can explore creative freedom within these limitations and encode specific characteristics into the material structure. By organizing the material structure in different ways, objects can exhibit properties like high stiffness with minimal material usage or deformable properties. Both outcomes can be achieved using the same material deposition methods, and computational design techniques enable the creation of smooth transitions between contrasting properties.