Voxel8 3D Printing

Julia for 3D Printing

Voxel8 is a 3D printing company that is disrupting the design and manufacture of electronic devices by providing new functional materials for additive manufacturing. They leverage over a decade of research from the Lewis Group at Harvard University to manufacture high performance, customized products using advanced materials including plastic, epoxy and silicone.

Voxel8’s 3D printers use Julia for critical mathematical code and algorithms to build next-generation antennas, batteries, drones, robotic hands, electronic components and more.

Voxel8’s proprietary ‘Euclid’ platform is a high performance multi-material slicer with real-time path planning algorithms written in Julia. Path planning (or slicing) is the process of converting 3D mesh files into a series of X, Y and Z moves that produce the desired path for the material extruder and ensure material is added precisely and efficiently.

Why did Voxel8 choose Julia?

Jack Minardi, Voxel8’s Co-Founder and Software Lead answered this question during his presentation at JuliaCon 2015:

  • “Path planning is computationally very expensive and requires high performance computing.”

  • “The expressiveness of a language matters. Being high level and having an ability to iterate quickly makes a major difference in a fast paced innovative environment like at Voxel8.”

  • “The speed at which we’ve been able to develop this has been incredible. If we were doing this in a more traditional language like C or C++, we wouldn’t be nearly as far as we are today with the number of developers we have, and we wouldn’t be able to respond nearly as quickly to customer feedback regarding what features they want.”

  • “There is a large number of packages for Julia that we find useful.”

  • “Julia is very stable – the core language is stable and fast, and most packages are very stable.”

  • “I really like how easy it is to install and manage packages, since they are just git repos.”

For more, watch this talk by Jack Minardi:

Voxel8’s 3D printers use Julia for critical mathematical code and algorithms to build next-generation antennas, batteries, drones, robotic hands, electronic components and more.

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