Ten challenges in CAD cyber education

The advancement of technology and its application to the field of education has caused many to re-examine the merits and pitfalls of cyberlearning environments. Though there is a wealth of research both for and against its mainstream use, there is a consensus that much work remains to be done in key areas such as collaboration, course content, personal learning environments, and engagement. CAD and cyberlearning share a common goal: to communicate information effectively. Unfortunately, many aspects well understood in CAD have been overlooked in online education. In this paper, ten key challenges and their implications for CAD cyber education are discussed. The purpose of this paper is not to provide a dismal outlook for cyberlearning, but to incite discussion, research, and development into these areas with the anticipation of a viable and attractive alternative to traditional classroom education.

Ten challenges in CAD cyber education
ZJ Beasley, LA Piegl, P Rosen
Computer-Aided Design and Applications 15 (3), 432-442

Point cloud slicing for 3-D printing

This paper revisits a more than half a century old problem: slice a free-form object into layers for manufacturing. A point based approach is taken that would have been prohibitive even a decade ago. Due to modern hardware, plenty of storage and a plethora of software packages, the time has come to ditch complicated and error prone numerical code and deploy a simple point based method to achieve robustness and accuracy that have been lacking for a very long time.

Point cloud slicing for 3-D printing
W Oropallo, LA Piegl, P Rosen, K Rajab
Computer-Aided Design and Applications 15 (1), 90-97

Generating point clouds for slicing free-form objects for 3-D printing

3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has gained a lot of attention both within and outside CAD research. Even popular media have touted the technology as one of the game changer technologies of the 21st century. Simply stated, most printing devices add material to an unfinished part, layer by layer, until the entire object is completed. In order to make this happen, the object is sliced into thin layers which are produced and glued together. Since NURBS are the standard form of modeling tools, the process entails converting the NURBS into an STL model (piecewise triangular model) which is then sliced into a set of closed polygonal loops. In order to avoid the many problems with the STL-based slicing, in this paper we investigate a point cloud-based approach to direct slicing of NURBS based models. It uses the original NURBS model and converts the model into a point cloud, based on layer thickness and accuracy requirements, for direct slicing. The only major computational requirement is point evaluation which can be done error free and in an inexpensive manner. The generation of the point cloud is the main topic of this paper.

Generating point clouds for slicing free-form objects for 3-D printing
W Oropallo, LA Piegl, P Rosen, K Rajab
Computer-Aided Design and Applications 14 (2), 242-249

Ten challenges in 3D printing

Three dimensional printing has gained considerable interest lately due to the proliferation of inexpensive devices as well as open source software that drive those devices. Public interest is often followed by media coverage that tends to sensationalize technology. Based on popular articles, the public may create the impression that 3D printing is the Holy Grail; we are going to print everything as one piece, traditional manufacturing is at the brink of collapse, and exotic applications, such as cloning a human body by 3D bio-printing, are just around the corner. The purpose of this paper is to paint a more realistic picture by identifying ten challenges that clearly illustrate the limitations of this technology, which makes it just as vulnerable as anything else that had been touted before as the next game changer.

Ten challenges in 3D printing
W Oropallo, LA Piegl
Engineering with Computers 32 (1), 135-148