Volume Sculpting

Project Overview

This research project deals with volume sculpting with haptic interaction. We developed a free-form interactive modeling technique based on the concept of sculpting a voxel-based solid material, such as a block of marble or wood, using 3D voxel-based tools. The sculpting system supports operations such as: sawing, carving, painting, heat-gun, pasting, trimming, squirt and inner-sawing. There are two motivations for this work. First, although traditional CAGD and CAD have made great strides as design tools in many engineering disciplines, modeling topologically complex and highly-detailed objects are still difficult to design in most traditional CAD systems. Second, sculpting tools have shown to be useful in scientific and medical applications. For example, scientists and physicians often need to explore the inner structure of their simulated and sampled datasets by gradually removing material to reveal an interior section of interest.

Volume visualization techniques typically provide support for visual exploration of data. However, additional information can be conveyed by allowing a user to feel virtual objects. In particular, our sense of touch is capable of supplying a large amount of information about material properties of objects. In this project, we are developing a haptic interaction method suitable for volume visualization and volume sculpting. A haptic device provides for the sculptor a realistic feeling of working on a sculpted object.

The project has been supported by the following: Intel Corporation, Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation, and Naval Research Lab.

This research project is being implemented both on a PC with a 1.0x PHANToM haptic device and on a Silicon Graphics Onyx2 with a 1.5x PHANToM haptic interface which provides force-feedback

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