3D Printing Industry | 9/6/2018 | Umair Iftikhar
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Researchers at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria & the Institute of Science and Information Technology in Italy have developed a new tool for creating 3D printed molds.

The tool automatically finds the best method to design silicone molds, and delivers the templates for what the team are calling ‘metamolds’.

Bernd - Bickel - Computer - Graphics - Digital

Bernd Bickel, heading the Computer Graphics and Digital Fabrication group at IST Austria, stated “Until now, silicone molding of complex shapes was a craft that needed years of experience and a skillful hand. You needed to know where to place the cuts ideally, and the work was done manually. Our new tool makes this method accessible for everyone.”

Metamold made gargoyle. Photo via the Institute of Science and Information Technology in Italy.

Object - Mold - Mold - Pieces - Parts

Extracting the object from a mold generally requires separating the mold pieces without them getting caught on parts from the object. Molds are designed as a manifold mesh, which is a mesh where all triangles are properly and consistently oriented. Any errors in the mesh can lead to problems in a print mold. However the metamolds are made with computational design, a design process that is more automated in order to achieve faster, more accurate results.

With the new tool, the user simply uploads the desired shape to the computer and the tool then calculates where the optimal place for cuts to be placed. This tool minimizes number of mold pieces to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: 3D Printing Industry
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