Curvislicer: Slightly curved slicing for 3-axis printers

Jimmy Etienne, Nicolas Ray, Daniele Panozzo, Samuel Hornus, Charlie C.L. Wang, Jonàs Martínez, Sara McMains, Marc Alexa, Brian Wyvill, Sylvain Lefebvre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most additive manufacturing processes fabricate objects by stacking planar layers of solidified material. As a result, produced parts exhibit a so-called staircase effect, which results from sampling slanted surfaces with parallel planes. Using thinner slices reduces this effect, but it always remains visible where layers almost align with the input surfaces. In this research we exploit the ability of some additive manufacturing processes to deposit material slightly out of plane to dramatically reduce these artifacts. We focus in particular on the widespread Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology, since most printers in this category can deposit along slightly curved paths, under deposition slope and thickness constraints. Our algorithm curves the layers, making them either follow the natural slope of the input surface or on the contrary, make them intersect the surfaces at a steeper angle thereby improving the sampling quality. Rather than directly computing curved layers, our algorithm optimizes for a deformation of the model which is then sliced with a standard planar approach. We demonstrate that this approach enables us to encode all fabrication constraints, including the guarantee of generating collision-free toolpaths, in a convex optimization that can be solved using a QP solver. We produce a variety of models and compare print quality between curved deposition and planar slicing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Curved slicing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'Curvislicer: Slightly curved slicing for 3-axis printers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this