3D Printing ProcessesPatents

Apple secures patent for triangular tessellation 3D printing method

The patent describes a triangular infill pattern that could result in faster print speeds and less material usage

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

Apple was granted a total of 46 patents today, including a patent for a 3D printing technology that uses triangular tessellation. The patent, which was initially filed in 2014, describes a process invented by computer scientist Michael R. Sweet which utilizes a triangular infill pattern to produce stronger, more efficient 3D printed models.

According to the patent description, the triangular tessellation 3D printing method proposed is meant to enable faster print speeds and to reduce the amount of material used for a given part. This is achieved by using a “triangle support pattern” (or triangular tessellation) print head motion instead of a circular print head movements, which are more or less standard in existing 3D printers.

In short, the patent describes a 3D printing process wherein the print head extrudes material onto a print bed in a triangular tessellated pattern. Unlike many common infill patterns which are constant throughout a since piece, the triangular pattern would vary in size or density. For instance, the outer edges of a part would be made up o smaller triangles, while non-edge portions could have larger triangular tessellation (thus reducing material consumption.)

“In one embodiment, the triangles making up the triangular tessellations are fixed-size triangles,” the patent reads. “In another embodiment, the triangles making up the triangular tessellations are dynamically sized triangles. By way of example, small triangles could be used to form an object’s edges or other regions in which strength/support is needed. Larger triangles could be used to build-up or construct areas where strength/support is not as critical.”

The proposed method can reportedly offer more benefits than conventional circular print head movements.

What does the patent approval mean? At this point, we’re not sure. Apple does hold other patents for 3D printing technologies, though it’s not clear whether these will result in a commercial product offered by the tech company or if they will have in-house applications for research and prototyping.

Research 2021
Ceramic AM Market Opportunities and Trends

This market study from 3dpbm Research provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the ceramic additive ma...

Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

Related Articles

Back to top button

We use cookies to give you the best online experience and for ads personalisation. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • PHPSESSID
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services

STAY AHEAD

OF THE CURVE

Join industry leaders and receive the latest insights on what really matters in AM!

This information will never be shared with 3rd parties

I’ve read and accept the privacy policy.*

WELCOME ON BOARD!