3D Sketching In Thin Air

A research group in South Korea has developed a 3D sketching tool that simplifies the creation of 3D designs.

AsianScientist (Aug. 6, 2018) – Scientists in South Korea have devised a way to sketch out designs in three dimensions (3D). They reported their method in the Proceedings of the 2018 Computer-Human Interaction Conference.

People often use their hands when describing an object, while pens are great tools for illustrating objects in detail. For a designer’s drawing to become a product in reality, it has to be transformed from a 2D plan into a 3D shape. However, it is difficult to infer 3D shapes that match the designer’s original intention from an inaccurate 2D image drawn by hand.

To solve this problem, researchers led by Professor Bae Seok-Hyung at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, introduced a 3D sketching workflow which combines the strengths of hand and pen input. The team called this technique ‘Agile 3D Sketching with Air Scaffolding.’

Using this method, designers use their hand motions in the air to create rough 3D shapes which will be used as scaffolds. They can then add details with pen-based 3D sketching on a tablet. To achieve this, the team had to create an algorithm to identify descriptive hand motions from transitory hand motions and extract only the intended shapes from unconstrained hand motions.

Through user tests, the team found that their technique is easy to learn and use, saving time, yet enhancing the accuracy of defining the proportion and scale of products. The researchers suggested that this tool can be applied to various fields, including the automobile and movie making industry. It can also be linked to smart production technology, such as 3D printing, to make the manufacturing process faster and more flexible.

“I believe the system will enhance product quality and work efficiency because designers can express their 3D ideas quickly yet accurately without using complex 3D CAD modeling software,” said PhD candidate Mr. Kim Yongkwan of KAIST.

“There have been many attempts to encourage creative activities in various fields by using advanced computer technology. Based on in-depth understanding of designers, we will take the lead in innovating the design process by applying cutting-edge technology,” Bae added.

The article can be found at: Kim et al. (2017) Agile 3D Sketching with Air Scaffolding.


Source: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology .
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