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Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing,  1997:<br>Proceedings of the Seventh International FAIM Conference

ISBN:
978-1-56700-089-4 (Print)
978-1-56700-442-7 (Online)

A GENETIC ALGORITHM FOR OPTIMAL OBJECT PACKING IN A SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING RAPID PROTOTYPING MACHINE

Ilkka Ikonen
Department of Industrial Engineering University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292

William E. Biles
Department of Industrial Engineering University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292

Abstract

In this paper we describe a unique three-dimensional bin packing problem with non-convex objects having cavities and holes. Part packing takes place in an environment where parts float as they would in a weightless environment. The application domain is the selective laser sintering rapid prototyping technique. A genetic algorithm is used as a search method to find a good part-packing solution. The fitness evaluation for the genetic algorithm is based on the actual part geometry as described in the Stereolithography (STL) file. Part-intersection detection utilizes several methods common in computational geometry. Initial results are promising, showing that the genetic algorithm is able to find a good solution for such a difficult packing problem.