Fabricating Articulated Characters using Skinned Meshes


Abstract

Articulated deformable characters are widespread in computer animation. Unfortunately, we lack methods for their automatic fabrication using modern additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. We propose a method that takes a skinned mesh as input, then estimates a fabricatable single-material model that approximates the 3D kinematics of the corresponding virtual articulated character in a piecewise linear manner. We first extract a set of potential joint locations. From this set, together with optional, user-specified range constraints, we then estimate mechanical friction joints that satisfy inter-joint non-penetration and other fabrication constraints. To avoid brittle joint designs, we place joint centers on an approximate medial axis representation of the input geometry, and maximize each joint’s minimal cross-sectional area. We provide several demonstrations, manufactured as single, assembled pieces using 3D printers.

Video


Press

See search results on Google
July 31, 2012
Adding a '3D print' button to animation software (Press Release) by Caroline Perry, Harvard
Aug 1, 2012
Animated characters printed in 3D by Christina Ortiz, Discovery News
Aug 1, 2012
Adding a '3D Print' Button to Animation Software, ACM TechNews
Aug 2, 2012
Software helps print video game characters in 3D by Katia Moskvitch, BBC
Aug 2, 2012
Harvard creates software for 3D printing articulated action figures by Matthew Humphries, Geek
Aug 2, 2012
Harvard software 3D prints articulated action figures, Slashdot

Bibtex

@article{Bacher2012,
 author = {B\"{a}cher, Moritz and Bickel, Bernd and James, Doug L. and Pfister, Hanspeter},
 title = {Fabricating articulated characters from skinned meshes},
 journal = {ACM Trans. Graph. (Proc. SIGGRAPH)},
 volume = {31},
 number = {4},
 year = {2012}
} 

Errata

§ 5.1
The index in \(\max_{i \in V} w_{il}\) should run over the links instead of the vertices: \(\max_{l \in L} w_{il}\).

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