RoboSculptor: Artist-Directed Robotic Sculpting of Clay

Abstract

We present an interactive design system that allows users to create sculpting styles and fabricate clay models using a standard 6-axis robot arm. Given a general mesh as input, the user iteratively selects sub-areas of the mesh through decomposition and embeds the design expression into an initial set of toolpaths by modifying key parameters that affect the visual appearance of the sculpted surface finish. These parameters were identified and extracted through a series of design experiments, using a customized loop tool to cut the water-based clay material. The initialized toolpaths are fed into the optimization component of our system afterwards for optimal path planning, aiming to find the robotic sculpting motions that match the target surface, maintaining the design expression, and resolving collisions and reachability issues. We demonstrate the versatility of our approach by designing and fabricating different sculpting styles over a wide range of clay models.

Publication
Symposium on Computational Fabrication

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