Creation of freeform solid models in virtual reality

M. C. Leu, B. Y. Maiteh, D. Blackmore, L. Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A novel method has been developed using a virtual reality (VR) environment to create solid models with freeform surfaces. The VR environment emulates the physical environment for creating freeform objects, i.e. the freeform model is created in a virtual environment by shaping a virtual workpiece with a variety of virtual tools. The trajectories of the virtual tools are generated by the designer's hand movements and they are obtained by recording the position and orientation of the motion tracker mounted on a device held by the hand. A haptic device can be worn by the designer to provide a feel of the model creation process. In the mathematical algorithm, the swept volumes of the design tools are computed from the tools' geometric data and trajectories. Boolean operations are then performed on the swept volumes of the virtual tools and the virtual workpiece to create the design model. If the virtual tools used have the same geometry as the real tools used in numerically controlled (NC) machining, their trajectories in the model creation process can be post-processed and used as feasible trajectories in actual NC machining to fabricate the design model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalCIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Design
  • Modeling
  • Virtual


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