We propose a data-driven method for designing 3D models that can be fabricated. First, our approach converts a collection of expert-created designs to a dataset of parameterized design templates that includes all information necessary for fabrication. The templates are then used in an interactive design system to create new fabricable models in a design-by-example manner. A simple interface allows novice users to choose template parts from the database, change their parameters, and combine them to create new models. Using the information in the template database, the system can automatically position, align, and connect parts: the system accomplishes this by adjusting parameters, adding appropriate constraints, and assigning connectors. This process ensures that the created models can be fabricated, saves the user from many tedious but necessary tasks, and makes it possible for non-experts to design and create actual physical objects. To demonstrate our data-driven method, we present several examples of complex functional objects that we designed and manufactured using our system.
ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH)