There is, however, great potential to aid these processes computationally and to unlock difficult design tasks for a larger audience. This will not only provide faster work flows and enable the exploration of new design spaces, but it constitutes a necessary step towards the wide-spread application of personalized fabrication techniques like additive manufacturing. Low-cost 3d printing has been widely described as a disruptive technology and the herald of a new industrial revolution. These expectations have since been tempered by a reality which shows that availability alone is inconsequential unless accompanied by an innovation of supporting technologies.
The big challenge in making new fabrication techniques more useful is the development of a computational design methodology that relieves its users of low-level tasks like explicit 3d modeling and provides tools to create shapes from functional, aesthetic, and other high-level specifications. The overarching goal of this research area is to find new mathematical models and computational solutions fordesign tasks that are at this time tedious or impossible at all.
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