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Voxel-Based Thickness Analysis of Intricate Objects

By K. Subburaj, Eep Patil and B. Ravi


Thickness is a commonly used parameter in product design and manufacture. Its intuitive definition as the smallest dimension of a cross-section or the minimum distance between two opposite surfaces is ambiguous for intricate solids, and there is very little reported work in automatic computation of thickness. We present three generic definitions of thickness: interior thickness of points inside an object, exterior thickness for points on the object surface, and radiographic thickness along a view direction. Methods for computing and displaying the respective thickness values are also presented. The internal thickness distribution is obtained by peeling or successive skin removal, eventually revealing the object skeleton (similar to medial axis transformation). Another method involves radiographic scanning normal to a viewing direction, with minimum, maximum and total thickness options, displayed on the surface of the object. The algorithms have been implemented using an efficient voxel based representation that can handle up to one billion voxels (1000 per axis), coupled with a near-real time display scheme that uses a look-up table based on voxel neighborhood configurations. Three different types of intricate objects: industrial (press cylinder casting), sculpture (Ganesha idol), and medical (pelvic bone) were used for successfully testing the algorithms. The results are found to be useful for early evaluation of manufacturability and other lifecycle considerations

Topics: CAD/CAM, Medial Axis Transformation, Thickness, Radiography, Voxels
Year: 2009
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