Aug.29, 2012

Creating 3D objects with 3D modeling software is not that simple, it is a process with a steep learning curve and requires a lot of time and patience. But professors at Purdue University hope to create something simpler.

Using a Kinect camera and advanced software algorithms, Purdue University has developed an interactive system "Handy Potter" that allows users to create virtual three-dimensional objects through natural hand and arm motions.

Pipeline showing the flow of information from the user to the Handy-Potter system and back

Fully constrained, partially constrained and free-form generalized cylinders using Handy-Potter

Kinect camera is used to track the user's body and hand gestures, the modeling tool is configurable to provide 3D shapes and resolution based on the position, orientation and speed of the arms.

Watch the video below the Handy Potter tool in action and how the user makes gestures to outline the designs.

Currently users can only mold 3D objects such as lamps and pots, but the system will not be limited to such shapes. In the future it could also be used for engineering design, architecture, arts and games.

Product concepts modeled using Handy-Potter

"We're democratizing the design process," says Karthik Ramani, professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue. "You don't have to be an engineer or an accomplished potter to use this. You can be a kid. You create the shape while you are completely focused on the idea rather than bothering yourself about the right usage of the tool."

The Handy-Potter project won an "All-Conference Best paper" award two weeks ago at the ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.


Source: purdue via


Posted in 3D Software




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