Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Low-Hanging Fruit - An Exploration of Procedural Modelling Tools to make Voxel Printing more Accessible

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posted on 2023-04-12, 00:14 authored by Wilson, Nathan

Recent advances in 3D printing technology have opened up voxel-based printing, which allows for control of the material of every sub-millimetre droplet that makes up the structure of a printed object. This full microstructure control opens up the ability to 3D print functionally graded materials. Typically, making dynamic objects involves using assemblies of discrete mono-material parts, each with distinct functions. Functionally graded materials instead allow for the creation of multi-functional single objects composed of complex heterogeneous material blends, gradually altering material properties to achieve their dynamic function. Current CAD and 3D-modelling tools and workflows are set up for the creation of assemblies of mono-material parts, where the designer only defines the outside shape of each part; this makes them inadequate for the full volume control needed to define every single droplet during voxel printing. While there has been some progress made in developing tools to address this problem, these tools currently require a high level of expertise to properly utilise. With this research, we seek to address this high barrier to entry by exploring intuitive digital workflows for making gradient material blends and utilising procedural modelling tools to create systems that allow designers to digitally tailor complex parts using simple parameter adjustments.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Industrial Design

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

249999 Other manufacturing not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design Innovation


Stevens, Ross