Monolith, a voxel-based modeling

19Feb15

Feature_FunctionBased_01.png

What’s a voxel?  Well, think of it like a three-dimensional pixel.  In fact, the word voxel is short for volumetric pixel.  Much like a pixel, which describes the attributes (like color) of an element within a larger composition (an image); a voxel can describe attributes about a physical location within a 3D volume.  These attributes can include information about its material properties, density, color, and more.

Now, most if not all, currently available 3D CAD applications are simply unable to manage spatial variations in material properties. That’s because most design applications have been built upon a surface modeling paradigm where a ‘solid’ object is defined as an object enclosed by a set of discrete boundaries. This is known as Boundary Representation or Brep for short.  But, voxels are interesting because they offer a new paradigm where objects can be defined as a dense representation of material properties throughout a 3D volume. In addition, voxel-based representations fit perfectly within a new class of 3D printers which have multiple print heads capable of depositing different types of resin (i.e. plastic or rubber, clear or opaque, full color) within a single build volume (i.e. multimaterial printing). All of this means you now have greater control over how your designs will look, feel, and function.  Below are just a few of the features available in Monolith – our stand alone voxel modeling engine.

Geometry Generation

Function Based

The values for each voxel channel can be defined by a scalar function whose purpose is to define a density value for each XYZ coordinates in space  These functions can be algebraic expressions including combinations of the most commonly used basic functions [such as cos, sin, tan etc…].  You can also start by using one of the pre-defined functions like a gyroid, schwarz, enneper, scherk, among many others.   In addition, the text editor can create sliders out of variables if the variable is defined in the form of fx:(1,0,10) where fx is the variable name and the three values in parenthesis represent the current, start, and end values of the slider. Therefore it can help you explore parametrically a larger space of solutions

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