Chopper: Partitioning Models into 3D-Printable Parts


Chopper partitions a given 3D model into parts that are small enough to be 3D-printed and assembled into the original model. Left to right: the input chair model, Chopper’s partition (with a printing volume shown as a reference), printed parts, and assembled chair.


3D printing technology is rapidly maturing and becoming ubiquitous. One of the remaining obstacles to wide-scale adoption is that the object to be printed must fit into the working volume of the 3D printer. We propose a framework, called Chopper, to decompose a large 3D object into smaller parts so that each part fits into the printing volume. These parts can then be assembled to form the original object. We formulate a number of desirable criteria for the partition, including assemblability, having few components, unobtrusiveness of the seams, and structural soundness. Chopper optimizes these criteria and generates a partition either automatically or with user guidance. Our prototype outputs the final decomposed parts with customized connectors on the interfaces. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Chopper on a variety of non-trivial real-world objects.

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author = "Linjie Luo and Ilya Baran and Szymon Rusinkiewicz and Wojciech Matusik",
title = "Chopper: Partitioning Models into {3D}-Printable Parts",
journal = "ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia)",
year = "2012",
month = dec,
volume = "31",
number = "6"