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Additive Appearance aims to perfect the accurate simulation of models for 3D printing

Predicting the appearance of a 3D model as accurately as if it were physically produced by a PolyJet 3D printer

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Charles University, on behalf of its subsidiary Charles University Innovations Prague a.s. (CUIP), has established Additive Appearance s.r.o., a spin-off company that offers unique software for reliable simulation of models for 3D printing – offering a simple way to print prototypes with maximum similarity to the final product.

Additive Appearance’s software is based on the unique knowledge of computer graphics and years of research conducted by scientists from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University. The team developed algorithms that enable the prediction of the appearance of a 3D model as accurately as if it were physically produced by a PolyJet 3D printer.

Currently, 3D printers can produce objects with complex appearances, but according to the university, existing software cannot access the full gamut of appearance that the hardware can produce. Additive Appearance’s software is focused on the visual appearance of the resulting 3D prints and will not only achieve high color accuracy, but also accurate texture sharpness, which has proven difficult to achieve with existing technologies. The team is building the software with components from artificial intelligence to form a multi-step virtual optimization that is run before printing. By using this software in combination with PolyJet 3D printers, physical prototypes will provide designers with an opportunity to communicate their vision to clients with prototypes as realistic as the intended final product.

The goal is to expand the availability of the software to all 3D printing brands, and get to a point of producing the final parts themselves, which will not only have the desired look, but will also be fully functional. “With our great team and joint partners, we strive to get the industry a few steps closer to our dream, the Star Trek Replicator. In our first step, we employ beautiful math and algorithms to help fabricate beautiful, accurate colors in 3 Dimensions,” said Thomas Nindel, Co-founder and CEO of Additive Appearance.

Beyond its current application in product design, this technology has the potential to disrupt a wide range of other industries where appearance matters, such as in fashion, where designers are printing intricate details directly onto fabric; museums that are looking to preserve and restore their cultural heritage artifacts with the combination of 3D scanning and 3D printing; and the movie and toy industry, where high-priced collectibles are increasingly 3D printed to achieve captivating details.

“Additive appearance has emerged at the perfect time and represents something of a pioneer in the 3D printing software market. It is always a pleasant journey to cooperate with a spin-off company which is driven by their passion,” said Otomar Sláma, the Chairman of the Board of CUIP.

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