Developed as a prototyping technique for 3d printing, WirePrint is a project by a Human-Computer Interaction group at the Hasso Plattner Insitute that allows printing of 3D objects as wireframe previews. By extruding filament directly into 3D space instead of printing layer-wise, it achieves a speed-up of up to a factor of 10, allowing designers to iterate more quickly in the early stages of design.
Even though considered a rapid prototyping tool, 3D printing is so slow that a reasonably sized object requires printing overnight. This slows designers down to a single iteration per day. With WirePrint, we propose to instead print low-fidelity wireframe previews in the early stages of the design process. Wireframe previews are 3D prints in which surfaces have been replaced with a wireframe mesh. Since wireframe previews are to scale and represent the overall shape of the 3D object, they allow users to quickly verify key aspects of their 3D design, such as the ergonomic fit.