Pathio Users

Seam hiding using ambient occlusion

Suggestion Summary

Typically slicers place seams based on analysis of the geometry of the object being printed. Sharpest Corners or similar are common ways to try to avoid showing seams.
However, another technique could be to use Ambient Occlusion (or similar - raytracing perhaps?) techniques to see what parts of a model are least visible, and place seams where seams would be least visible. e.g. the example below:
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The seam would likely be generated at the hard 90 degree corner in the bottom left of the screenshot. However, the seam could conceivably be placed on the interior of the inner loop, as AO would consider that the darkest part of the model, and so, least visible.

Why is this useful?

Hides seams and increases print quality.
not necessarily that useful for engineering prints, but could be very useful for “aesthetic” models (e.g. zbrush sculpts, etc)

  • Do other slicers do this?:
    Not as far as I’m aware

Screenshots/Supporting Info

4 Likes

I was going to point out but you did really, that if the “inner loop” is actually a functional “hole” then the seam may interfere with something being inserted.

However, the idea is good and as you say for non “mechanical” style parts should work well I think.

Not to try and over complicate the slicer but maybe a seam location style/method could be a selection where the user determines a method of seam placement.

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interesting, additionally light sources customization might be really useful as well. since you can specific how the model is usually viewed to generate the proper shades and perhaps ability to prioritize certain light sources so that those surfaces has the least chances to have a seam.

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At this point, aren’t we adding complexity? i really like the paintbrush idea for seams. Adding lights shouldn’t be necessary, ambient occlusion map generation generally assumes a global illumination, not a movable light source. Its (AO) a “distance to neighbor and angle of neighbor” calculation, not an actual raycast calculation. There are of course AO options in rendering engines, which is not the same as an occlusion map generation. map generation would be all that is needed in our case i think?

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@Ubermeisters i was assuming rendering technique that allows multiple light sources (eg raytracing) but yea… it is totally far more complex than just painting the seams.

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If I’m honest, I suggested this one because I have a hunch they’re doing more in 3d model space than most slicers would. (3D Offsetting is once of the reasons why I believe this to be the case, plus a few other things I’ve encountered that have hinted at it)

I may be wrong of course, but Pathio isn’t the first piece of software I’ve encountered that’s bringing real time rendering strategies to solve 3D printing problems. If I’m right, it may mean that this a fairly cheap feature to implement and a good differentiator from Cura, Slic3r et al.

I also think this shouldn’t replace the seam painting, but just supplement it as an automatic setting. If you take a complex model with multiple islands per layer (the Roman amphitheater model, or the castle on a cliff are great examples ) - painting seams on them would be painful for a user. Whereas this approach could be a good way to add a more intelligent strategy to hiding them.

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That’s a well-thought response, thanks for the insight. I can see how auto generation would be useful in this instance. I dont see how they are using rendering to offset a mesh (displacement mapping?).

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Really interesting ideas.

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Sadly I’m under NDA (with a different company to E3D) so I can’t really talk about it in any detail. I believe the US patents are public though if you fancy a dig.
But directly relating to Pathio - as I say, its just a hunch, could be completely off-base.

1 Like