Towards locally and globally shape-aware reverse 3D modeling

Manish Goyal, Sundar Murugappan, Cecil Piya, William Benjamin, Yi Fang, Min Liu, Karthik Ramani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The process of re-creating CAD models from actual physical parts, formally known as digital shape reconstruction (DSR) is an integral part of product development, especially in re-design. While, the majority of current methods used in DSR are surface-based, our overarching goal is to obtain direct parameterization of 3D meshes, by avoiding the actual segmentation of the mesh into different surfaces. As a first step towards reverse modeling physical parts, we extract (1) locally prominent cross-sections (PCS) from triangular meshes, and (2) organize and cluster them into sweep components, which form the basic building blocks of the re-created CAD model. In this paper, we introduce two new algorithms derived from Locally Linear Embedding (LLE) (Roweis and Sauk, 2000 [3]) and Affinity Propagation (AP) (Frey and Dueck, 2007 [4]) for organizing and clustering PCS. The LLE algorithm analyzes the cross-sections (PCS) using their geometric properties to build a global manifold in an embedded space. The AP algorithm, then clusters the local cross sections by propagating affinities among them in the embedded space to form different sweep components. We demonstrate the robustness and efficiency of the algorithms through many examples including actual laser-scanned (point cloud) mechanical parts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-553
Number of pages17
JournalCAD Computer Aided Design
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • CAD model parameterization
  • Digital shape reconstruction
  • Reverse 3D modeling
  • Volumetric segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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