Monthly Archives: April 2016

How to use 3d geometry to solve problems

Buckminster Fullers’s Design Science, 3d Printing, and the future of engineering

by Shaun D. McMillan

Most of the objects we see today are manufactured on a massive scale. The shapes we most often see are squares, rectangles, and simple forms that can easily be reproduced. But now that 3d printing is becoming more accessible, we are seeing more sophisticated geometry like fractals, hexagons, and organic flexible shapes. Is this just a trend, or will we continue to see more interesting geometry in our everyday lives? How can we use these more sophisticated shapes to solve problems?

Here is a simple way that geometry can introduce new solutions. PLA plastic is one of the most common materials used for 3d printing, but it is quite rigid and stiff. So how could we make flexible wearible 3d printed clothing and accessories? We could try to create hinge joints like we often do with metals, but actually we achieve a lot more flexibility and reduce the amount of material used by simply modifying the geometry.

3d geometry lowREs

These geometric patterns have their own design appeal and aesthetic, but first and foremost it emerged from its usefulness and efficiency.

Can this be taken further? Continue reading How to use 3d geometry to solve problems