3d Printing Vase Mode for Fractals

Inspired by a 3d print I saw on printables.com I started thinking about how vase mode could be exploited to print other fractal type objects. (And indeed, how could I create this Sierpinski pyramid type shape in other configurations)

Vase Mode, if you don’t know, is where the 3d printer’s toolpath is one continuous spiral that runs around the perimeter of each layer, or slice, of the model being printed. So, if you take the example of a simple cylinder, instead of one circular path for each layer of a pre-set height, the toolpath follows a continuous spiral that has a pitch of whatever the pre-set layer height is.
The advantage is that there isn’t a start/stop point for each layer (called a seam) that can often be visible on the print. It’s called vase-mode because it is commonly used top print vases!
There’s plenty of info on t’interweb about this eg… 3dPrinterBee

Vase mode is brilliantly exploited on this model by designing it such that it can be printed in a continuous spiral… Notice the tiny gaps between the base pyramids - these are really important in creating a continuous path on each layer…

Each section (layer or slice) can be printed as one continuous path that joins the next, instead of lots of separate closed curve paths on each layer that would happen without the tiny gaps.

Each layer never overhangs the previous layer by more than (eg) 45degrees so the printer never has to extrude material into empty space… it always has some material from the layer below to print on to.

So… to my question… and if you were hoping that I’d follow the golden rules of asking questions on this forum and provide some code… sorry… I haven’t got that far because I can’t figure out what direction to take. I’m hoping for some advice on what approach to take rather than a solution and we can look at code if I get anywhere with this.

So as inputs:

  1. A Solid volume, Brep.
  2. A type of fractal pattern.
  3. Some parameters that dictate density of pattern

For the example above, this would be…

  1. Octahedron with a pyramid base
  2. Sierpinski Pyramid
  3. Size of smallest pyramid???

The Chimpanzee plugin might help here.

Any comments?


Hello Martin, I don’t know if I am off topic but did you see that ?

I implemented several methods in Nautilus, some were done for a client last year

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Hi Laurent,
I did see that topic but couldn’t find it so thanks for the link. I will read through it again.
I did think about the Nautilus plugin when I posted this because I remembered that you have done some work on 3d printer paths.
I will hopefully have some time to try some ideas tomorrow.

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