Chopper: Partitioning models into 3D-printable parts

Linjie Luo, Ilya Baran, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Wojciech Matusik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Scopus citations


3D printing technology is rapidly maturing and becoming ubiquitous. One of the remaining obstacles to wide-scale adoption is that the object to be printed must fit into the working volume of the 3D printer. We propose a framework, called Chopper, to decompose a large 3D object into smaller parts so that each part fits into the printing volume. These parts can then be assembled to form the original object. We formulate a number of desirable criteria for the partition, including assemblability, having few components, unobtrusiveness of the seams, and structural soundness. Chopper optimizes these criteria and generates a partition either automatically or with user guidance. Our prototype outputs the final decomposed parts with customized connectors on the interfaces. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Chopper on a variety of non-trivial real-world objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • 3D printing
  • Mesh segmentation and decomposition


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