Fabricating Articulated Characters from Skinned Meshes


Moritz Baecher; Bernd Bickel; Doug L. James; Hanspeter Pfister


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. See http://www.baecher.info/fab_char_sig12.html for more details.

BibTex entry

@article { 327, title = {Fabricating Articulated Characters from Skinned Meshes}, journal = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH)}, volume = {31}, year = {2012}, author = {Moritz Baecher and Bernd Bickel and Doug L. James and Hanspeter Pfister} }