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Designing Digital Materials with Volumetric Gradients

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date27/04/2017
Number of pages6
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event15th Rapid Design, Prototyping & Manufacturing Conference (RDPM2017) - Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 27/04/201728/04/2017
Conference number: 15th


Conference15th Rapid Design, Prototyping & Manufacturing Conference (RDPM2017)
Abbreviated titleRDPM 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Next-generation engineering designs could be digitally conceived as vast constellations of material dots in space and physically fabricated with advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies. AM is already transforming how we create physical objects across a wide range of manufacturing industries. However, recent advances in multi-material AM make it possible to envision a form of three-dimensional pointillism, whereby complex structures are designed and assembled on a micron-by-micron basis through the precise placement of different material “dots” within three-dimensional space. In line with traditional pointillism techniques, different compositions of many small dots would collectively give rise to higher-level properties such as colour and geometry, but also physical properties such as: topology, stiffness, flexibility, and transparency. This paper first describes exciting challenges and opportunities associated with designing multi-material objects as constellations of material dots, then outlines initial experiments which explore data-driven volumetric gradients to design and fabricate physical objects using advanced PolyJet technologies.