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Big computation brings your ideas into 3D

Hyve3D credit: University of Montreal

What 3D printers are doing to facilitate fabrication, 3D drawing programs are surpassing to facilitate design. As described at ScienceDaily.com, two systems referred to as “powerful” and “spectacular” are being highlighted at the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver this week:

True2Form (out of University of British Columbia) brings 2D sketches into 3D (excerpt from SD reprint):

…”In line-drawings, designers and artists use descriptive curves and informative viewpoints to convey the full shape of an object,” says Alla Sheffer, a professor in UBC’s Dept. of Computer Science. “Our system mimics the results of human three-dimensional shape inference to lift a sketch curve network into 3-D, while preserving fidelity to the original sketch.”

True2Form uses powerful mathematics to interpret artists’ strokes automatically lifting drawings off of the page. It produces convincing, complex 3-D shapes computed from individual sketches, automatically corrected to account for inherent drawing inaccuracy…

Hyve3D (out of University of Montreal) delivers collaborative, real-time 3D sketching (excerpt from SD reprint):

…For example, as the designers are immersed in their work, this could mean designing the outside of a car, and then actually getting into it to work on the interior detailing. Hyve-3D stands for “Hybrid Virtual Environment 3D.” Univalor, the university’s technology commercialization unit, is supporting the market launch of the system.

The 3D images are the result of an optical illusion created by a widescreen high-resolution projector, a specially designed 5m-diameter spherically concave fabric screen and a 16-inch dome mirror projecting the image onto the screen…

While industrial/commercial/military applications are pretty obvious, the potential for classrooms (remember trying to visualize molecular stereochemistry by pointing your fingers in unnatural directions?!), for emerging technologies, and for individual innovators (as these types of systems arrive in collaborative facilities or as costs/size come down to allow desktop versions) makes the imagination soar.
-Posted by Stephanie C

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