Subramanian Chidambaram, Yunbo Zhang, Venkatraghavan Sundararajan, Niklas Elmqvist, and Karthik Ramani
Shape Structuralizer: Design, Fabrication, and User-driven Iterative Refinement of 3D Mesh Models
ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2019), May 4–9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Current Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools lack proper support for guiding novice users towards designs ready for fabrication. We propose Shape Structuralizer (SS), an interactive design support system that repurposes surface models into structural constructions using rods and custom 3Dprinted joints. Shape Structuralizer embeds a recommendation system that computationally supports the user during design ideation by providing design suggestions on local refinements of the design. This strategy enables novice users to choose designs that both satisfy stress constraints as well as their personal design intent. The interactive guidance enables users to repurpose existing surface mesh models, analyze them in-situ for stress and displacement constraints, add movable joints to increase functionality, and attach a customized appearance. This also empowers novices to fabricate even complex constructs while ensuring structural soundness. We validate the Shape Structuralizer tool with a qualitative user study where we observed that even novice users were able to generate a large number of structurally safe designs for fabrication.

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Posted in 2019, Karthik Ramani, Recent Publications, Subramanian Chidambaram, Yunbo Zhang