From DeviceLab
Jump to: navigation, search

Project Overview

With the availability of affordable new desktop fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting, physical models are used increasingly often during the architectural and industrial design cycle. Models can easily be annotated to capture comments, edits and other forms of feedback. Unfortunately, these annotations remain in the physical world and cannot be easily transferred back to the digital world. Here we present a simple solution to this problem based on a tracking pattern printed on the surface of each model. Our solution is inexpensive, requires no tracking infrastructure or per object calibration, and can be used in the field without a computer nearby. It lets users not only capture annotations, but also edit the model using a simple yet versatile command system. Once captured, annotations and edits are merged into the original CAD models. There they can be easily edited or further refined. We present the design of a SolidWorks plug-in implementing this concept, and report initial feedback from potential users using our prototype. We also present how this prototype could be extended seamlessly to a fully functional system using current 3D printing technology.

To achieve this goal, we are exploring the following research problems:

  • A framework to support designers capture information during their design cycle with diverse computing resources

Group Members


  • Microsoft Research (as part of the Microsoft Center for Interaction Design and Visualization at the University of Maryland)
  • NSF under Grant IIS-0749094

Work in Progress

  • Dataglyph pattern vs Anoto pattern report. GoTo
  • Work on demo of the new features for user study.
  • Ubiquitous pen computing project at Autodesk GoTo


  1. ModelCraft: Capturing Freehand Annotations and Edits on Physical 3D Models Hyunyoung Song, François Guimbretière, Hod Lipson and Chang Hu. Proceedings of UIST’06, pp 13 - 22, paper (Video).
  2. CubeExplorer:An Evaluation of Interaction Techniques in Architectural Education Hyunyoung Song, François Guimbretière, Michael A. Ambrose and Carl Lostritto. Proceedings of INTERACT’07, 43 -56, paper