Visual Design and Engineering Laboratory

Carnegie Mellon University

Pen-based Styling Design of 3D Geometry Using Concept Sketches and Template Models


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This paper describes a new approach to industrial styling design that combines the advantages of pen-based sketching with concepts from variational design to facilitate rapid and fluid development of 3D geometry. The approach is particularly useful for designing products that are primarily stylistic variations of existing ones. The input to the system is a 2D concept sketch of the object, and a generic 3D wireframe template. In the first step, the underlying template is aligned with the input sketch using a camera calibration algorithm. Next, the user traces the feature edges of the sketch on the computer screen; user's 2D strokes are processed and interpreted in 3D to modify the edges of the template. The resulting wireframe is then surfaced, followed by a user-controlled refinement of the initial surfaces using physically-based deformation techniques. Finally, new design edges can be added and manipulated through direct sketching over existing surfaces. Our preliminary evaluation involving several industrial products have demonstrated that with the proposed system, design times can be significantly reduced compared to those obtained through conventional software.


Levent Burak Kara, Chris D’Eramo, Kenji Shimada. (2006). Pen-based Styling Design of 3D Geometry Using Concept Sketches and Template Models. ACM Solid and Physical Modeling Conference (SPM) 2006.

 title = {Pen-based styling design of 3D geometry using concept sketches and template models},
 author = {Kara, Levent Burak and D'Eramo, Chris M. and Shimada, Kenji},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2006 ACM symposium on Solid and physical modeling},
 series = {SPM '06},
 year = {2006},
 isbn = {1-59593-358-1},
 location = {Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom},
 pages = {149-160},
 numpages = {12},
 url = {},
 doi = {10.1145/1128888.1128909},
 acmid = {1128909},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {3D sketching, camera calibration, pen computing, physically-based deformation, style design, surfacing},