Mass customization and 3D printing centres are a recent trend since a few years. But how to support novice designers and laymen in designing workable objects within some given design space for 3D printed objects? CUPstomizer is a prototype solution that integrates parametric modelling, simulation and optimization approaches to enable the user to vary design parameters and to guide him/her to choose parameters satisfying a goal function of maintaining stability while adding as little as possible material – all in an easy-to-use, interactive 3D application. CUPstomizer illustrates the smooth transition between design and simulation using cup holders for espresso cups.
Most CAD systems only describe the boundary surface of objects (BRep-NURBS), whereas simulation and 3D printing (additive manufacturing) require volumetric information, in some cases even information about graded materials or properties. Graded properties can hardly be represented by BRep-NURBS. The transition from typical BRep-NURBS to a model suitable for simulation (e.g. a finite element mesh) is generally tedious and in many cases requires manual intervention.