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Rapid Prototyping (WS11/12)

0433 L 370
Prof. Dr. Marc Alexa, Prof. Dr. Bernd Bickel
Kristian Hildebrand [1]
Course structure:
Projekt - 6 SWS
E-N 719
Friday 10am  -  4pm  
Start: 21 Oct 2011
End: 17 Feb 2012
Rapid Prototyping is the construction of physical models using 3D printing.
Reintroducing physical models into the concept of computer graphics opens up new perspectives on how to construct and perceive real objects.
In this project participants are expected to build a simple 3D printing device and develop a framework capable of generating printable 3D objects. Further, algorithms need to be developed to simulate how these objects would look and the kind of visual effects that can be achieved.
Additionally we will explore different materials to construct 3D computer-generated models (e.g. paper, food or textiles)
Interest in visual arts and graphics, programming skills, DIY and making things.
The course gives a brief overview of the basic ideas and several recent developments in this field. Students will work in small teams on a chosen topic and present the basics of their topic in an intermediate talk. Finally, each team will implement a recent research papers and present their topic, application and results in a concluding talk. Both efficiency of the underlying algorithms as well as visual quality of the resulting imagery are important aspects in this course. Grading will be based on all aspects of performance.
Please register for the course until October 21th by sending an eMail mentioning the course title, your name and student id to Helga Kallan [2].


We had interesting talks during the course of the project:

  • Layered3D [3] 
  • Burr Puzzles [4]
  • DNA Origami [5]
  • Slices: Planar Shape Abstraction [6]
  • Subsurface Scattering in Rapid Manufacturing [7]
  • Structures in Rapid Manufacturing (German) [8]

Final projects and results

We also had an amazing set of projects and results:

  • Build your own UV-resin 3D printer [9]
  • BRDF Estimation on Objects [10]
  • Creating toy mazes from images [11]
  • Layered3D [12]
  • Support Structure Generation [13]

Sample projects from previous courses


  • MakerBot modifications [15] (Sebastian Tiesler, Alexander Hilgarth, Martin Berger)
  • Reliefs As Displays [16] (Sebastian Koch)
  • Shadow Art [17] (Christian Lueck, Martin Schenk)
  • Papercraft Models from Meshes [18] (Peter Stihl)


  • Questions regarding course topics: Kristian Hildebrand [19]
  • Administration: Helga Kallan
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