Tamás Várady, Hungarian Academy of Science, Hungary
Reverse Engineering of Shapes - The State of the Art

Reverse engineering is the process of creating a computer representation of an object from large sets of measured data points. The process can be divided into four phases: (i) data capture, (ii) mesh processing, (iii) segmentation and surface fitting and (iv) model generation. The final models which result can vary greatly depending on the application, the quality of the data, the amount of user assistance and, of course, the selected mathematical procedure used for reconstruction. Within the whole process, segmentation - i.e. separating and grouping point sets each to be approximated by a single surface - plays an essential role. Various segmentation methods will be introduced and analyzed, with comparisons drawn between automatic and heavily user assisted methods, free-form shapes and conventional engineering objects, and structured, high quality and coarse surface models. Related mathematical techniques including automatic surface fitting and constrained fitting of multiple surfaces will also be reviewed. Finally, open problems for future research will be discussed.

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