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Proceedings of CAD'17, 2017, 27-31
Direct Rapid Prototyping from Point Cloud Data without Surface Reconstruction

Tianyun Yuan, Dongdong Zhang, Xiaobo Peng, Prairie View Texas A&M University

Abstract. With the development of computer-aided design and additive manufacturing technology, rapid prototyping is getting more and more important. Direct prototyping is an integration of reverse engineering (RE) process and rapid prototyping (RP) process, which converts the scanned point cloud into facet files, known as STereoLithography (STL) files, and prints out the prototype. RE process and RP process have been widely applied in automobile design, aerospace design, biological field, etc.. With the increasing market of 3D scanners and 3D printers, the technology is not only applied to professional areas but also to daily lives. The traditional approach involves tedious and time-consuming processing steps, i.e., reconstructing point cloud data into CAD models or sculptured surfaces, creating STL models based on the 3D models, and finally importing STL models into commercial 3D printer, where the STL models will be sliced for printing. Such processes require certain professional knowledge and skills to process point cloud, reconstruct CAD model and generate STL file. It is laborious and far from automatic, and those who have no background of RE knowledge and CAD skills can barely produce a good prototype with the point cloud. It would be more beneficial to develop a direct prototyping system which simplifies the whole procedure by receiving the raw point cloud and automatically printing the point cloud.

Keywords. Rapid Prototyping, Three-Dimensional Printing, Direct Manufacturing, Point Cloud Data

DOI: 10.14733/cadconfP.2017.27-31