In your CAD system, you can make any model you design to appear to balance and “stand up.” For example, create a model of a Flamingo on one foot and he won’t fall over while in the safety of your monitor. But print it out, set it on your desk, and see if it tips over. Most likely, unless you’ve done your calculations exactly, the poor bird is laying on its side. The laws of physics usually win.
But the developers of Make it Stand want to help you find your balance. They’ve created software that ingeniously let’s you alter a model until it’s in perfect balance atop its footing. It’s brilliant.
From their website, here’s their abstract:
Imbalance suggests a feeling of dynamism and movement in static objects. It is therefore not surprising that many 3D models stand in impossibly balanced configurations. As long as the models remain in a computer this is of no consequence: the laws of physics do not apply. However, fabrication through 3D printing breaks the illusion: printed models topple instead of standing as initially intended. We propose to assist users in producing novel, properly balanced designs by interactively deforming an existing model. We formulate balance optimization as an energy minimization, improving stability by modifying the volume of the object, while preserving its surface details. This takes place during interactive editing: the user cooperates with our optimizer towards the end result. We demonstrate our method on a variety of models. With our technique, users can produce fabricated objects that stand in one or more surprising poses without requiring glue or heavy pedestals.