OpenFab: A Programmable Pipeline for Multi-Material Fabrication

  Kiril Vidimče     Szu-Po Wang     Jonathan Ragan-Kelley     Wojciech Matusik  
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2013 SIGGRAPH/ACM Transactions on Graphics 32(4), July 2013.



3D printing hardware is rapidly scaling up to output continuous mixtures of multiple materials at increasing resolution over ever larger print volumes. This poses an enormous computational challenge: large high-resolution prints comprise trillions of voxels and petabytes of data and simply modeling and describing the input with spatially varying material mixtures at this scale is challenging. Existing 3D printing software is insufficient; in particular, most software is designed to support only a few million primitives, with discrete material choices per object.

We present OpenFab, a programmable pipeline for synthesis of multi-material 3D printed objects that is inspired by RenderMan and modern GPU pipelines. The pipeline supports procedural evaluation of geometric detail and material composition, using shader-like fablets, allowing models to be specified easily and efficiently. We describe a streaming architecture for OpenFab; only a small fraction of the final volume is stored in memory and output is fed to the printer with little startup delay. We demonstrate it on a variety of multi-material objects.

Paper: Preprint (PDF, 11 MB)

Presentations: SIGGRAPH 2013 Slides (PDF, 19.36 MB)

Citation: Kiril Vidimče, Szu-Po Wang, Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, Wojciech Matusik, OpenFab: A Programmable Pipeline for Multi-Material Fabrication, ACM Transactions on Graphics 32(4) (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2013), Anaheim, July 2013.

BibTeX: openfab.bib


A procedurally-defined foam material makes the bunny and bear squishy. Color and squishiness vary procedurally over the models.
The front face of the postcard (left) is texture mapped using a foreground image. The back of the postcard (right) displaces the surface to create a spatially varying transmission according to a combined foreground and background image. The result is a hidden background image which only appears when backlit (center).
Left: procedurally-defined materials with anisotropic mechanical properties. Center: Marble-like material generated using Perlin noise. Right: Procedurally-defined and fully parameterized aspherical microlens array with baffles.