PhD Proposal : Implicit modeling for additive manufacturing (IMPRIMA)


Sylvain Lefebvre ( and Cédric Zanni (

Team : MFX, LORIA, website

Context :
Additive manufacturing completely changes the way objects can be produced. On the one hand, it simplifies the manufacturing process itself, allowing everyone – including the general public – to physically realize a virtual model using a 3D printer. On the other hand, it affords for unprecedented possibilities in terms of shape complexity, both at the macro and micro scales: objects can be filled with multi-material structures that vary in size, orientation and shape to give specific properties to the final parts. Unfortunately, describing shapes at this level of customization, scale and complexity is beyond the reach of current software. The challenge lies in how to specify shapes than can be easily manipulated, optimized for properties, as well as visualized during manipulation and prepared efficiently for the manufacturing process. A key technical choice is that of shape representation. Boundary representations (e.g. triangle meshes) are very effective to represent surfaces. However, additive manufacturing blurs the frontier between surfaces and volumes. « Implicits », a mathematical definition which computes whether a point is solid or empty, provide an efficient scalable representation [MDL16,MHSL18] . Such approaches are referred to as procedural and can be used to represent both gradient of material and microstructures the latter being a key advantage of additive manufacturing. Variation in the microstructures or material composition can be driven by specifying different parameter inputs to the evaluation procedure based on spatial position. The control field defining those parameters is itself an important part of the design. There is currently a lack of methodologies to author, manipulate and process such property driving fields.
The main objective of this project is to explore representations for the modeling, visualization and processing of both geometry and control fields within the authoring pipeline for additive manufacturing.

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