Daniel Westhof about


The goal of Ouroboros is aiding the development of 3D-printed products, using a big nozzle, by allowing to print in one go without travel movements. This results in short print times while achieving a nice surface finish even with 1 mm nozzles and 0.8 mm layer height. This makes the 3D-printer a viable tool for small scale fabrication of products. Even furniture parts can be printed in a reasonable time.

The main problem with printing with large nozzles is the stringing that occurs while traveling, creating messy surfaces with spikes and holes. That's why I became obsessed with avoiding traveling altogether.

With traditional methods, all curves are printed one after the other. This means that even between curves that are touching, traveling occurs. But what if you could tell the slicer to print one curve to a specific point, switch to another touching curve, print that first and then to continue with the first one? If you could stitch all the curves into one big curve? If you now could also align the end points, preferably to somewhere out of sight, the only travel movements that are left are the layer changes. You can do all of that! I call it stitching and Ouroboros is the tool I created to help you to do it.

Of course, this has some major limitations. All curves must be closed and touch each other in at least one place. But within those constraints, there's a lot of room for creative solutions and functional aesthetics.

Ouroboros is implemented in Grasshopper, a visual programming interface for the CAD program Rhino. This allows the entire workflow from design to print code directly from Rhino.

The Garberobe was the first project I implemented using this technique.