3D Packing June 2017
Tightly pack 3D meshes into as small of a volume as possible.
Formlabs recently announced the Fuse 1, a 3D printer that works via Selective Laser Sintering. This technique uses a nylon powder which conveniently supports the structures as they are printed. No scaffolding or supports are needed, so we can print as many objects as we can pack into the volume.
This begs the question - how many 3DBenchy boats can the Fuse 1 print in a single batch? As soon as the printer was announced, I immediately gravitated toward this algorithmic challenge.
With naive bin packing, 82 boats can be packed into the printer volume. But with some more advanced packing algorithms, 113 boats can fit - a 37.8% improvement!