In product design, designers often create a multitude of concept sketches as part of the ideation process. Transforming such sketches to 3D digital models usually require special expertise and effort due to a lack of suitable Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools. Although recent advances in sketch-based user interfaces and immersive environments (such as augmented/virtual reality) have introduced novel curve design tools, rapid surfacing of such data remains an open challenge. To this end, we propose a new method that enables a quick construction of approximate surfaces from a cloud of 3D curves that need not be connected to one another. Our method first calculates a vector field by discretizing the space in which the curve cloud appears into a voxel image. This vector field drives a deformable surface onto the 3D curve cloud thus producing a closed surface. The surface smoothness is achieved through a set of surface smoothing and subdivision operations. Our studies show that the proposed technique can be particularly useful for early visualization and assessment of design ideas.
Erhan Batuhan Arisoy, Gunay Orbay, Levent Burak Kara. (2011). Approximate Surfacing of Curve Clouds for Conceptual Shape Creation and Evaluation. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences/DAC. Washington D.C.