Computer-aided design synthesis: an application of shape grammars

McKay, Alison; Jowers, Iestyn; Chau, Hau Hing; De Pennington, Alan and Hogg, David C. (2011). Computer-aided design synthesis: an application of shape grammars. International Journal of Product Development, 13(1) pp. 4–15.



Computer-aided design systems enable the creation of digital product definitions that are widely used throughout the design process. Typically, such product definitions are created after the bulk of [shape] designing has been completed because their creation requires a detailed knowledge of the shape that is to be defined. Shape grammars have been applied in a range of domains to generate design shapes that conform to a given style early in design processes. A key challenge that restricts their implementation lies in the detection of embedded shapes, sub-shapes, which are manipulated according to shape rules to create new shapes. The automatic detection of sub-shapes is an open research question within the shape grammar community. The research reported in this paper explored the use of computer vision techniques to address this problem; the results achieved to date show real promise. An early prototype is presented and demonstrated on a designer's sketches.

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