Creating Works-Like Prototypes of Mechanical Objects

Bongjin Koo, Wilmot Li, JiaXian Yao, Maneesh Agrawala, Niloy Mitra


Designers often create physical works-like prototypes early in the product development cycle to explore possible mechanical architectures for a design. Yet, creating functional prototypes requires time and expertise, which discourages rapid design iterations. Designers must carefully specify part and joint parameters to ensure that parts move and fit and together in the intended manner. We present an interactive system that streamlines the process by allowing users to annotate rough 3D models with high-level functional relationships (e.g., part A fits inside part B). Based on these relationships, our system optimizes the model geometry to produce a working design. We demonstrate the versatility of our system by using it to design a variety of works-like prototypes.

Creating works-like prototypes. Users start by creating a rough 3D model of a design and then specifying the desired functional relationships between parts (a). Our system optimizes part and joint parameters to generate a working model (b) that can be fabricated as a physical prototype (c).

Research Paper

PDF (10.3M)


MOV (104M)

Creating Works-Like Prototypes of Mechanical Objects
SIGGRAPH Asia 2014, pp. 217:1-217:9.