Back to Research


Oskar Elek
Charles University in Prague
Denis Sumin
Max Planck Institut Informatik
Ran Zhang
Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Tim Weyrich
University College London
Karol Myszkowski
Max Planck Institut Informatik
Bernd Bickel
Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Alexander Wilkie
Charles University in Prague
Jaroslav Křivánek
Charles University in Prague
& Render Legion

teaser image

A representative collection of our optimized prints, showing different images and patterns that our method reproduces much better that the standard printer driver. Be sure to check our paper for details. All printouts are 1 cm thick and printed at the resolution of 300 DPI, i.e., corresponding to standard inkjet printers.


Color texture reproduction in 3D printing commonly ignores volumetric light transport (cross-talk) between surface points on a 3D print. Such light diffusion leads to significant blur of details and color bleeding, and is particularly severe for highly translucent resin-based print materials. Given their widely varying scattering properties, this cross-talk between surface points strongly depends on the internal structure of the volume surrounding each surface point.

Existing scattering-aware methods use simplified models for light diffusion, and often accept the visual blur as an immutable property of the print medium. In contrast, our work counteracts heterogeneous scattering to obtain the impression of a crisp albedo texture on top of the 3D print, by optimizing for a fully volumetric material distribution that preserves the target appearance.

Our method employs an efficient numerical optimizer on top of a general Monte-Carlo simulation of heterogeneous scattering, supported by a practical calibration procedure to obtain scattering parameters from a given set of printer materials. Despite the inherent translucency of the medium, we reproduce detailed surface textures on 3D prints. We evaluate our system using a commercial, five-tone 3D print process and compare against the printer's native color texturing mode, demonstrating that our method preserves high-frequency features well without having to compromise on color gamut.


Oskar Elek, Denis Sumin, Ran Zhang, Tim Weyrich, Karol Myszkowski, Bernd Bickel, Alexander Wilkie, Jaroslav Křivánek:
Scattering-aware Texture Reproduction for 3D Printing. ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia), 36(6), 2017


Links and Downloads

 PDF (102 MB | 1 MB)  PDF (15 MB)


We are grateful to Stratasys Ltd for providing us with access to the voxel-level print interface of the J750 machine. Many thanks go to Alan Brunton, Filip Šroubek, Per H. Christensen, Michal Šorel and Rhaleb Zayer for helpful discussions, Piotr Didyk for providing an early access to their manuscript, and last but not least, the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 642841 (DISTRO), and under the European Research Council grant agreement No 715767 (MATERIALIZABLE). It was further supported by the Czech Science Foundation grants 16-18964S and 16-08111S, the Charles University grant SVV-2017-260452, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant EP/K023578/1.