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Voronoi Toolpaths for PCB Mechanical Etch: Simple and Intuitive Algorithms with the 3D GPU

Marsette Vona, Daniela Rus
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2005. ICRA 2005.

@conference{vona2006voronoi,

   title={Voronoi toolpaths for PCB mechanical etch: Simple and intuitive algorithms with the 3D GPU},

   author={Vona, M.A. and Rus, D.},

   booktitle={Robotics and Automation, 2005. ICRA 2005. Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on},

   pages={2759–2766},

   isbn={078038914X},

   year={2006},

   organization={IEEE}

}

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We describe VIsolate (Voronoi Isolate), a system which performs geometric computations associated with toolpath planning for mechanical etch (also called isolation routing) of printed-circuit boards, including the computation of a novel Voronoi-based toolpath with some advantages over the current industry practice. We highlight how we use the 3D Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to implement simple, intuitive algorithms in VIsolate, including polygon overlap detection, 2D offset, and constrained generalized Voronoi diagram computation, building on a method from [1]. Thus, this work also illustrates how we can employ the GPU as a rudimentary “mind’s eye” for the machine, allowing us to rapidly implement visually-intuitive geometric algorithms.
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