A Framework for Adaptive Width Control of Dense Contour-Parallel Toolpaths in Fused Deposition Modeling

Tim Kuipers, Eugeni L. Doubrovski, Jun Wu, Charlie C.L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
483 Downloads (Pure)


3D printing techniques such as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) have enabled the fabrication of complex geometry quickly and cheaply. Objects are produced by filling (a portion of) the 2D polygons of consecutive layers with contour-parallel extrusion toolpaths. Uniform width toolpaths consisting of inward offsets from the outline polygons produce over- and underfill regions in the center of the shape, which are especially detrimental to the mechanical performance of thin parts. In order to fill shapes with arbitrary diameter densely the toolpaths require adaptive width. Existing approaches for generating toolpaths with adaptive width result in a large variation in widths, which for some hardware systems is difficult to realize accurately. In this paper we present a framework which supports multiple schemes to generate toolpaths with adaptive width, by employing a function to decide the number of beads and their widths. Furthermore, we propose a novel scheme which reduces extreme bead widths, while limiting the number of altered toolpaths. We statistically validate the effectiveness of our framework and this novel scheme on a data set of representative 3D models, and physically validate it by developing a technique, called back pressure compensation, for off-the-shelf FDM systems to effectively realize adaptive width.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102907
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCAD Computer Aided Design
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adaptive extrusion width
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Geometrical accuracy
  • Medial axis transform
  • Toolpath generation

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