Creating a Voronoi Model in 3 Easy Steps
Here at 3D Platform (3DP) we take pride in our open-market solutions. Our Service Technician Tips series focuses on best practices for processing procedures from our very own technicians, making sure you get the perfect print every time. Today, Jason Patrick, 3DP Service Technician, provides tips on how to create a Voronoi model in three easy steps.
Voronoi models produce some fascinating models and cut down on material consumption. In most cases, Voronoi structures are printed without support material. We will use AutoDesk MeshMixer to modify a solid STL into a Voronoi model. In this tutorial, we use a knight chess piece to create the Voronoi effect. Credit for the model goes to Thingiverse User PerryT
Step 1: Import the Model
Import the model into meshmixer by opening the program and selecting “Import” on the left-hand toolbar.
Then select the model you would like to import from the dialog box.
Step 2: Reduce the Mesh
Once the model is imported, reduce the mesh to make larger polygons. These larger polygons control the spacing of our Voronoi pattern. Select the entire model by pressing “crtl+a”. A menu in meshmixer should pop up. It looks like this:
Next, navigate to “Edit>Reduce”
*The amount of reduction depends on how high res the model is; as well as the desired distance between the Voronoi pattern.
Moving the percentage slider will determine the amount of reduction. Simply select “Accept” when you are happy with the results.
Step 3: Create the Pattern & Export
Lastly, apply the Voronoi effect using the pattern tool in meshmixer. To access this tool, navigate to “Edit” on the left-hand tool bar. Next, select “Make Pattern”. You will then be presented with a dialog box containing the parameters for your pattern.
I used the “Dual Edges” setting in the first dropdown. This produces a more tubular look, but any of the patterns will work. I then changed the “Element Dimension” setting to achieve my desired spacing between the tubes. (Note: You want to use a small to medium size spacing if you wish to print it without support material.)
We will now export the model as a new STL. Navigate to “File>Export”, or simply click the “Export” button on the left-hand toolbar. Give it a name, and click “Export” in the dialog box.
Now you’re ready to import your new model into your favorite slicing software and print it.
For other helpful hints, check out our blog.