Authors Chanyeol Yoo, Samuel Lensgraf, Samuel Lensgraf, Lee M. Clemon, and Ramgopal Mettu detail their research for improvements in FDM 3D printing, outlined in the recently published ‘Toward Optimal FDM Toolpath Planning with Monte Carlo Tree Search.’
Most toolpath planning in FDM 3D printing consists of input models sliced into layers; however, this can lead to a lack of efficiency in motion at times, especially when the extruder may still be moving but not actually printing. In this study, the researchers set out to compute an efficient and optimal toolpath via a new algorithm using the Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS).
“A powerful general-purpose method for navigating large search spaces that is guaranteed to converge to the optimal solution,” the MCTS was analyzed within this study regarding its ability to improve searches.
“To our knowledge, this is the first algorithm for toolpath planning with any guarantees on global optimality,” stated the researchers.
Previously MCTS has been useful for solving problems in robotics applications, yielding the desired, greater efficiency in toolpath planning.
“Monte Carlo tree search algorithm is based on biased search algorithm for finding an optimal solution asymptotically. Starting at an initial condition, a tree grows at every iteration. The algorithm finds the next best node in a tree to expand using upper confidence bound (UCB), where UCB balances between exploitation and exploration. Intuitively, the node with higher likelihood of finding a better solution will be selected. Once a node is selected for expansion, one or a number of complete sequences is randomly generated from the node until reaching the end (e.g., end of time horizon),” explained the authors.
“In order to make our algorithm efficient, we also introduce a novel clustering algorithm on the dependency graph for the input model.”
With a dataset comprised of 75 models, use of the MCTS method did demonstrate ‘substantial reduction’ in wasted motion. The authors noted that MCTS performance was like that of their current local search toolpath planner, but overall made it easier for them to investigate difficult in planning with some models.
“A natural question is why one would use MCTS over local search for a given model. Using our empirical studies, it appears that the output of the clustering step and subsequent composition of HDS components of the dependency graph provide guidance as to whether MCTS can achieve convergence,” concluded the researchers.
“As we saw in our empirical analysis if there enough HDS components with respect to the size of the dependency graph then it is highly likely that MCTS will converge to an optimal toolpath. If the number of HDS components is too large, or the average size is too small, then MCTS will have difficulty exploring the toolpath space and may perform worse than local search.”
Researchers around the world continue to study ways to refine and use FDM 3D printing, from experimenting with new materials to fabricating innovative medical devices. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Image: ‘Toward Optimal FDM Toolpath Planning with Monte Carlo Tree Search’]
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
Thermal Management: A Necessary Innovation for 3D Printing – AMS Speaker Spotlight
In the manufacturing industry, the laws of physics are the great playing field leveler. Unconcerned with money, marketing, or good intentions, first principles innovation can create big leaps in performance...
3D Printing News Briefs, December 24, 2022: ESD Resin, Clay Tiles, & Other Materials
The focus of today’s 3D Printing News Briefs is materials, materials, and more materials! Starting with research, ORNL scientists found that naturally derived materials are fit for 3D printing. Fraunhofer...
Ursa Major and EOS to Disrupt Space Production with 3D Printed Copper
“Let’s build some engines!” That’s essentially what Ursa Major is doing. Based in Colorado, this space technology business is racing to improve humanity’s quest to explore the universe – several...
Slurry Metal 3D Printing with MetShape – AMS Focus
AM Ventures is the Networking Sponsor for the Bavarian Beer & Pretzels Networking Reception at the Additive Manufacturing Strategies, business summit February 7-9, 2023. In order to more deeply understand...