Visual Design and Engineering Laboratory

Carnegie Mellon University

Feature, Design Intention and Constraint Preservation for Direct Modeling of 3D Freeform Surfaces


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Direct modeling has recently emerged as a suitable approach for 3D free-form shape modeling in industrial design. It has several advantages over the conventional, parametric modeling techniques, including the natural user interactions, as well as the automatic feature-preserving shape deformation algorithms under the hood. However, current direct modeling packages still lack several capabilities critical for product design, such as managing aesthetic design intentions, and enforcing dimensional, geometric constraints.

In this paper, we describe a novel 3D surface editing system capable of jointly accommodating aesthetic design intentions expressed in the form of surface painting and color-coded annotations, as well as engineering constraints expressed as dimensions. The proposed system is built upon differential coordinates and constrained least squares, and is intended for conceptual design that involves frequent shape tuning and explorations. We also provide an extensive review of the state-of-the-art direct modeling approaches for 3D mesh-based, freeform surfaces, with an emphasis on the two broad categories of shape deformation algorithms developed in the relevant field of computer graphics.


Luoting Fu, Levent Burak Kara, Kenji Shimada. (2012). Feature, Design Intention and Constraint Preservation for Direct Modeling of 3D Freeform Surfaces. 3D Research, Volume 3, Issue 2.

 title = {Feature, design intention and constraint preservation for direct modeling of 3D freeform surfaces},
 author = {Fu, Luoting and Kara, Levent Burak and Shimada, Kenji},
 journal = {3D Res.},
 issue_date = {June 2012},
 volume = {3},
  number = {2},
  month = jun,
  year = {2012},
  issn = {2092-6731},
  pages = {61:1--61:18},
  articleno = {61},
  numpages = {18},
  url = {},
  doi = {10.1007/3DRes.02(2012)3},
  acmid = {2317157},
  publisher = {Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.},
  address = {Secaucus, NJ, USA},
  keywords = {Shape editing, design intention, feature-preserving, freeform geometry,
geometric constraints},