Reducing the volume of support structures is a critical means for saving materials and budgets of additive manufacturing, and tree structure is an effective topology for this purpose. Although a few articles in literature and commercial software have been devoted to developing tree-supports, those tree-supports are generated based on geometry optimization or user-defined parameters, which cannot guarantee a minimum volume with robust fabrication guarantee. To address this issue, we propose a set of formulas for stably growing the tree-supports with physical constraints based on 3D printing experiments using fused decomposition modelling (FDM) machines, and a volume minimization mechanism using a hybrid of particle swarm optimization (PSO) method and a greedy algorithm. We show that this combination is effective in reducing the volume of tree-supports and the simulations reveal that the volume curves monotonically descent to a constant within a short time, and our experimental results show that the models with the tree-supports can be manufactured stably.

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