This paper presents a novel approach for rapid prototyping based on the octree decomposition of 3D geometric models. The proposed method, referred as OcBlox, integrates an octree modeller, an assembly planning system, and a robotic assembly cell into an integrated system that builds approximate prototypes directly from 3D model data. Given an exact 3D model this system generates an octree decomposition of it, which approximates the shape cubic units referred as “Blox”. These cuboid units are automatically assembled to obtain an approximate physical prototype. This paper details the algorithms used to generate the octree's assembly sequence and demonstrates the feasibility of the OcBlox approach by describing a single resolution example of a prototype built with this automated system. An analysis of the potential of the approach to decrease the manufacturing time of physical components is detailed. Finally, the potential of OcBlox to support complex overhanging geometry is discussed.
Medellín, H., Corney, J., Davies, J.B.C., Lim, T. and Ritchie, J.M. (2004), "An automated system for the assembly of octree models", Assembly Automation, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 297-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/01445150410549791
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