Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Build-to-last: strength to weight 3D printed objects.

Lu, Lin; Sharf, Andrei; Zhao, Haisen; Wei, Yuan; Fan, Qingnan; Chen, Xuelin; Savoye, Yann; Tu, Changhe; Cohen-Or, Daniel; Chen, Baoquan


Lin Lu

Andrei Sharf

Haisen Zhao

Yuan Wei

Qingnan Fan

Xuelin Chen

Yann Savoye

Changhe Tu

Daniel Cohen-Or

Baoquan Chen


The emergence of low-cost 3D printers steers the investigation of new geometric problems that control the quality of the fabricated object. In this paper, we present a method to reduce the material cost and weight of a given object while providing a durable printed model that is resistant to impact and external forces. We introduce a hollowing optimization algorithm based on the concept of honeycomb-cells structure. Honeycombs structures are known to be of minimal material cost while providing strength in tension. We utilize the Voronoi diagram to compute irregular honeycomb-like volume tessellations which define the inner structure. We formulate our problem as a strength–to–weight optimization and cast it as mutually finding an optimal interior tessellation and its maximal hollowing subject to relieve the interior stress. Thus, our system allows to build-to-last 3D printed objects with large control over their strength-to-weight ratio and easily model various interior structures. We demonstrate our method on a collection of 3D objects from different categories. Furthermore, we evaluate our method by printing our hollowed models and measure their stress and weights.


LU, L., SHARF, A., ZHAO, H., WEI, Y., FAN., Q., CHEN, X., SAVOYE, Y., TU, C., COHEN-OR, D. and CHEN, B. 2014. Build-to-last: strength to weight 3D printed objects. ACM transactions on graphics [online], 33(4), article No. 97. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2014
Online Publication Date Jul 27, 2014
Publication Date Jul 31, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 5, 2020
Journal ACM transactions on graphics
Print ISSN 0730-0301
Electronic ISSN 1557-7368
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 4
Article Number 97
Keywords Porous structure design; 3D printing technologies; Volume-voronoi shape; Solid object hollowing
Public URL


Downloadable Citations