3D printers have been used to produce everything from blood vessels to dinosaur bones, but the structural quality of the results have been inconsistent. Researchers at Purdue University and Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs are looking to alleviate the problem by developing software that analyzes the 3D design before it reaches the printer.
According to Purdue News, the program can identify points of weakness and compensates by increasing the thickness or adding support structures. In addition to improving the object's rigidity, the adjustments also make production more cost effective by optimizing the weight and amount of materials used in the process. The group recently presented their findings at the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference in Los Angeles, though cautions that significant testing still must be performed before the software is ready for wider implementation.