Generating sparse self-supporting wireframe models for 3D printing using mesh simplification

Xiuping Liu, Liping Lin, Jun Wu, Weiming Wang*, Baocai Yin, Charlie Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Wireframe models are becoming a popular option in 3D printing. Generating sparse wireframe models using classic mesh simplification methods leads to models that require a lot of support structures in the layer-upon-layer additive process. In this paper we present a mesh simplification method that takes into account the overhang angle. Specifically, we propose a metric for self-supportability. By combining this novel metric together with the classic error metrics for mesh simplification, our method generates sparse wireframe models that need much less supports. Moreover, the operations of vertex position optimization and edge flipping are used to further increase self-supportability of the wireframe models. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method on a number of 3D models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalGraphical Models
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript


  • 3D printing
  • Mesh simplification
  • Self-supporting
  • Wireframe models


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