Whether you use filament or thermoplastics, the material costs for 3D printing tend to add up. In order to help the cost-conscious, and to speed up the 3D printing fabricating process,
Stefanie Mueller, a PhD Student from the Human Computer Interaction Group at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Germany, along with her team of students, has developed a software tool called faBrickation that allows for the substitution of 3D printing material with standard Lego building blocks.

The software is meant to allow users to substitute low resolution areas, or less detailed aspects of a design, with Lego bricks while retaining high-resolution areas for 3D printing. This makes sense – why waste time and material on low resolution areas if Lego bricks can be used just as well. The software generates instructions on how to assemble the Lego bricks once the object has been printed.

Stefanie's faBrickation is an example of complementary 3D printing, where 3D printing works side-by-side with an existing technology.

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