Method to fabricate articulated characters from skinned meshes

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Enables users to generate articulated figures, such as posable toys, based on their own custom design. Takes advantage of two key technology trends: the proliferation of low-cost animation tools such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, Blender or Rhino, as well as the declining cost, increasing functionality and proliferation of 3D printers. Exports data from industry-standard animation tools in the COLLADA data exchange format and generates a data output that can be sent to a conventional 3D printer to fabricate articulated figures.

The essence of the IP encompasses:

a) Transforming a skinned mesh model of a character into a rigid segmented model of the character.

b) Automatically inserting mechanical joints into a CAD model (e.g., the rigid segment character model from (a)) and subsequent optimization of the joints for manufacture, using a process such as 3D printing.

U.S. Patent(s) Issued: WO2014011727A1