Being able to print your own gadgets, gears, and gizmos at home from a 3D printer has the potential to revolutionize DIY culture and bring it into the mainstream. However, the technique, popularized by MakerBot Industries
and others, still has flaws. For one thing, the models created by 3D printers
, while impressive, are less than structurally sophisticated.
They don't handle high levels of stress very well, and the points where a model is most likely to be gripped or push against another object can weaken and break. A new piece of software from Purdue University
could solve that trouble by automatically scanning designs for 3D models for structural weak points and then reinforcing them as the model prints.