Turning Computer Animated Characters into Reality using 3D Printing

As we spoke about in this previous blog post, there remain a number of technological gaps between what we know as 3D content and 3D printing. Computer animation is one such area. The video (see link below) shows how articulated, deformable characters from computer animation can be transformed into real 3D-printed models that move in the same manner as the computer-generated animation. This is significant because no methods currently exist for automatically fabricating animation using additive manufacturing technologies.

The professors and student in this unique study (Baecher, Bickel, James & Pfister) have proposed a method that takes a skinned mesh as input, then estimates a fabricatable single-material model that approximates the 3D kinematics of the virtual character.

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