New Apple patent could transform 3D printing in medical imaging

A patent filed in 2014 by Apple Inc. for a new method to print three-dimensional (3D) models using triangular tessellation was recently approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, Oct. 23, according to a report by TechCrunch.com.  

The method—which breaks an object’s surface into triangles that approximate the shape of the original model to ensure more infill on the edges of the object—may soon be applied to 3D printing in medical imaging.  

The patent states triangular tessellation can speed up printing considerably as the print head does not have to move back and forth and only moves forward to make triangular shapes, according to TechCrunch.  

“In one embodiment, the triangles making up the triangular tessellations are fixed-size triangles. In another embodiment, the triangles making up the triangular tessellations are dynamically sized triangles. By way of example, small triangles could be used to form an object’s edges or other regions in which strength/support is needed. Larger triangles could be used to build-up or construct areas where strength/support is not as critical,” wrote inventor of the parent Michael R. Sweet, senior printing system engineer at Apple, in the patent.  

See TechCrunch’s entire article below.