Interface between CAD and Rapid Prototyping systems. Part 2: LMI — An improved interface
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The STL (STereoLithography) file format, as developed by 3D Systems, has been widely used by most Rapid Prototyping (RP) systems and is supported by all major computer-aided design (CAD) systems. However, it is necessary to improve the STL format to meet the development needs of RP technologies. In Part 1, several existing and proposed formats have been discussed. This paper, Part 2, will present an improved interface between CAD and RP systems. The new interface is a file format that supports the STL format, removes redundant information in the STL format and adds topological information to balance storage and processing cost. In addition to supporting facet boundary models, the new interface supports precise models by using the edge-based boundary representation. This paper discusses the design considerations of the new interface and data structures for both facet models and precise models. Finally, a comparison of the new interface and the STL file format will be made.
KeywordsComputer-aided design (CAD) Computer-aided manufacture (CAM) Data exchange Rapid prototyping STL (STereoLithography) format
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