Interlocking pieces for printing tangible Cultural Heritage replicas

12th Eurographics Workshops on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (EG GCH 2014), page 145-154 - 2014
Download the publication : decomposing_assemblable_final_submitted.pdf [13.2Mo]  

We propose a technique to decompose a 3D digital shape into a set of interlocking pieces that are easy to be manufactured and assembled. The pieces are designed so that they can be represented as a simple height field and, therefore, they can be manufactured by common 3D printers without the usage of supporting material. The removal of the supporting material is often a burdensome task and may eventually damage the surface of the printed object. Our approach makes the final reproduction cheaper, accurate and suitable for the reproduction of tangible cultural heritages. Moreover, since the proposed technique decomposes the artwork in pieces, it also overcomes the working space limits of common printers. The decomposition of the input (high-resolution) triangular mesh is driven by a coarse polygonal base mesh (representing the target subdivision in pieces); the height fields defining each piece are generated by sampling distances along the normal of each face composing the base mesh. A innovative interlocking mechanism allows adjacent pieces to plug each other to compose the final shape. This interlocking mechanism is designed to preserve the height field property of the pieces and to provide a sufficient degree of grip to ensure the assembled structure shape to be compact and stable. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach and show its limitations with some practical reproduction examples.

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BibTex references

  author       = "Alemanno, Giuseppe and Cignoni, Paolo and Pietroni, Nico and Ponchio, Federico and Scopigno, Roberto",
  title        = "Interlocking pieces for printing tangible Cultural Heritage replicas",
  booktitle    = "12th Eurographics Workshops on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (EG GCH 2014)",
  pages        = "145-154",
  year         = "2014",
  editor       = "Reinhard Klein and Pedro Santos",
  publisher    = "Eurographics Association",
  organization = "Eurographics Association",
  note         = "in press",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Paolo Cignoni
» Nico Pietroni
» Federico Ponchio
» Roberto Scopigno