Within modern society, many media devices exist. Having a responsive software product on any device would benefit different industries, such as individualising three-dimensional (3D) printed products, medical visualisations representing a diagnosis in a 3D environment, and even games to support a more extensive player base.

We will explore an example from the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry. One of the complex structures AM recently took interest in are lattice structures. Lattices are space-filling unit cells that can be tessellated along any axis with no gaps between cells that can generate all types of geometry without losing structural integrity. However, visualisations of lattice structures using computer graphics can become hard to render on sub-optimal hardware. Depending on the size of the lattice, polycount can reach millions of triangles which is not feasible to visualise optimally on consumer hardware in real-time. Additionally a representation of such geometry within a modelling tools such as MAYA or Blender necessitates a high level of knowledge, patience, foresight and meticulous preparations to ensure that models have adequate control vertices where details is desired.


In this article, we propose a solution for developers to create a 3D renderer that uses a volumetric approach to visualise these structures. Our target platform will be the web, focusing on chromium browsers. This also means that state of the art technology such as mesh-shaders or raytracing are not available. However, this will make sure that our solution is compatible with all kinds of platforms as a more generic approach is utilized to achieve the desired outcome. Volumes have shown promising results in visualising high fidelity geometry without the cost of uploading the required surface-based data to the GPU. An added benefit of volumes is that they can perform Boolean operations more efficiently.

Master Thesis

Rendering Solution for Complex Geometry

Using sphere tracing

Some key mathematics and programming ideas involved with this article.

The problem definition and how I solved the problem

How lattification of geometry works and can be applied at runtime

An overview of the article