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3D printing of generative art using the assembly and deformation of direction-specified parts

Yaususi Kanada (, Tokyo, Japan)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 20 June 2016




A methodology for designing and printing three-dimensional (3D) objects with specified printing-direction using fused deposition modeling (FDM), which was proposed by a previous paper, enables the expression of natural directions, such as hair, fabric or other directed textures, in modeled objects. This paper aims to enhance this methodology for creating various shapes of generative visual objects with several specialized attributes.


The proposed enhancement consists of two new methods and a new technique. The first is a method for “deformation”. It enables deforming simple 3D models to create varieties of shapes much more easily in generative design processes. The second is the spiral/helical printing method. The print direction (filament direction) of each part of a printed object is made consistent by this method, and it also enables seamless printing results and enables low-angle overhang. The third, i.e. the light-reflection control technique, controls the properties of filament while printing with transparent polylactic acid. It enables the printed objects to reflect light brilliantly.


The proposed methods and technique were implemented in a Python library and evaluated by printing various shapes, and it is confirmed that they work well, and objects with attractive attributes, such as the brilliance, can be created.

Research limitations/implications

The methods and technique proposed in this paper are not well-suited to industrial prototyping or manufacturing that require strength or intensity.

Practical implications

The techniques proposed in this paper are suited for generatively producing various a small number of products with artistic or visual properties.


This paper proposes a completely different methodology for 3D printing than the conventional computer-aided design (CAD)-based methodology and enables products that cannot be created by conventional methods.



Kanada, Y. (2016), "3D printing of generative art using the assembly and deformation of direction-specified parts", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 636-644.



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