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Direct writing of images onto 3D surfaces

Sung, R. and Corney, J.R. and Towers, D.P. and McPherson, F. and Hand, D. and Clark, D. and Gross, M. and Black, I. (2006) Direct writing of images onto 3D surfaces. Industrial Robot: An International Journal, 33 (1). pp. 27-36. ISSN 0143-991X

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Aims to develop a greyscale "painting system" by enabling the physical reproduction of digital texture maps on arbitrary 3D objects selectively exposing "pixels" of photographic emulsion with a robot mounted light source. After reviewing existing methods of "decorating" 3D components, the properties of photographic emulsion are introduced and the nature of the rendering process' pixels discussed. A proposed path planning algorithm, used to derive both the robot's movement and the exposure times directly from a VRML representation, is then presented. Results obtained from successfully rendering images on the surface of a test object are presented. Limitations of current system include the overall process time and the inability to handle objects with concave geometry.