Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: [Feature Request] Honeycomb infill

Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:00 pm

I just joined this forum after some googling around specifically to add to this request. I am leaving a detailed response, in hopes that it helps a mod (or dev or whatever) realize the importance of this feature. S3D is great at a lot of things, but it's frankly a joke that the only infill option we have is hatched linear infill. This is a terrible infill pattern for material strength characteristics. I know there's already been some discussion on this thread regarding skepticism towards the benefit of a honeycomb infill. While I can't give you any solid numbers regarding the benefits of a honeycombed infill (since this research probably hasn't actually hasn't been done), but I can shed some light on why a honeycomb infill is important. If it helps my credibility, I have a MS in mechanical engineering (and going for my PhD).

In short the fundamental reason why a honeycomb substructure is useful is because it retains two key benefits: (1) xy isotropy, and (2) material continuity on the z-axis. There is no popularly-known infill pattern that can do this anywhere as efficiently. Material isotropy refers to the directional dependence of the mechanical properties of the part. FFF-manufactured parts are intrinsically very anisotropic (not isotropic) on the z-axis due to it's reliance layer adhesion in this direction (and there's not a whole lot we can do about this). You can visualize this by a long slender beam; if you print it lying down on the bed, it will hold significantly more bending load than if you print it standing up. In the xy plane however, 3d printed parts are usually quite isotropic, as long as the infill geometry is symmetric. Hatched linear infill (what S3D uses) isn't symmetric on a single layer, but because it reverses direction each layer, From a net standpoint, it's more or less symmetric (this is good). The problem with hatched infill (linear or not) comes from material continuity in the z-direction.


This is an example of hatched infill. You can see that as the part builds along the z-axis, the only points where the infill retains material continuity are at the intersection points between the two layers. This results in an order of magnitude of less adhesion between layers, making the z-axis extremely weak against tensile loads (exacerbating the original issue of part anisotropy), as well as proving significantly less moment of interia to resist bending and torsion loads. Conversely, a honeycomb infill solves both of these problems because it's intrinsically a symmetric pattern, thereby retaining xy isotropy, and providing z-axis material continuity for all of the infill material (see below).


The drawback with honeycombed infill is that that its slightly slower than a linear infill since it moves in a zig-zag line instead of a straight line. As with any engineering project (or manufacturing method) we're constantly managing three budgets: time, cost, and performance. Honeycombed infill provides a technological option that trades off time for decreased cost (less material for same strength) and/or increased performance (same material cost for more strength). This is an option that really needs to be offered, especially if you envision S3D as a software solution for high performance FFF-manufactured parts.

For more background reading see this link (which I also credit the pictures I posted):

Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:59 am

Re: [Feature Request] Honeycomb infill

Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:27 am

doesn't the new version have honey comb?

Posts: 1435
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:52 am

Re: [Feature Request] Honeycomb infill

Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:40 pm

Yes, version 3.0 already has honeycomb implemented amongst many other patterns. Someone should really lock these old threads so people stop bringing them up

Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 6:01 am

Re: [Feature Request] Honeycomb infill

Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:03 am

As mentioned above, version 3.0 added many new infill patterns including honeycomb, grid, triangular, wiggle, etc. You can find all the new options on the Infill tab.

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