ModelCraft: Capturing Freehand Annotations and Edits on Physical 3D Models

Project description

With the availability of affordable new desktop fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting, physical models are used increasingly often during the architectural and industrial design cycle. Models can easily be annotated to capture comments, edits and other forms of feedback. Unfortunately, these annotations remain in the physical world and cannot be easily transferred back to the digital world. Here we present a simple solution to this problem based on a tracking pattern printed on the surface of each model. Our solution is inexpensive, requires no tracking infrastructure or per object calibration, and can be used in the field without a computer nearby. It lets users not only capture annotations, but also edit the model using a simple yet versatile command system. Once captured, annotations and edits are merged into the original CAD models. There they can be easily edited or further refined. We present the design of a SolidWorks plug-in implementing this concept, and report initial feedback from potential users using our prototype. We also present how this prototype could be extended seamlessly to a fully functional system using current 3D printing technology.


Fran�ois Guimbreti�re, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, HCIL, UMIACS
Hyunyoung Song, Graduate Research Assistant, HCIL, Computer Science
Hod Lipson, Assistant Professor, MAE, CIS
Chang Hu, Graduate Research Assistant, HCIL, Computer Science


ModelCraft: Capturing Freehand Annotations and Edits on Physical 3D Models
        Hyunyoung Song , Fran�ois Guimbreti�re, Hod Lipson, Chang Hu
       Proceeding of ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST2006) (October 2006)


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This material is based upon work supported by NSF Grant IIS-0447703 and Microsoft Research. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

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