Generating Energy Transmission Properties in Voxel Data Structures Using Texture Maps For Additive Manufacturing

University of Central Florida researchers have invented an additive manufacturing process that allows a 3D-printed object to reflect the texture characteristics of a photo-realistic 3D model more accurately. Current technologies do not provide a system or process for a designer to specify and print underlying properties (including colors and textures) of a voxel system to achieve realistic transfers and bounces of light in a 3D printed object. As a solution, the UCF invention allows customization of underlying optical properties within and at the surface of a voxel data structure. It consists of a system and methods of generating optical properties for a voxel data structure via texture maps generated using any PBR (physics-based rendering) creation tool or image editing tool. The texture mapping can include a combination of texture types. Examples of maps include albedo (diffuse) maps, roughness (microsurface) maps, metallic texture (metalness) maps and subsurface scattering (luminance) maps to reflect accurate texture characteristics in a manufactured object. Technical Details The method follows a procedural approach toward optically characterizing a subsurface scattering of light to generate a mixture of optically opaque and transparent materials. One step includes generating a virtual 3D model of an object. An analysis of the model includes dividing it into surface voxels and subsurface voxels to calculate a color map and a texture map using a PBR engine. The maps enable accurate color and material selections from a database to create a spectrum of colors and textures from the surface of the virtual model through the center point of the model. Finally, an additive manufacturing machine receives instructions to print the 3D object with the selected textures and materials. Partnering Opportunity The research team is looking for partners to develop the technology further for commercialization. Stage of Development Prototype available. John Miner 407.882.1136

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