In this article we present a method for automatically constructing a solid (in the CAD sense) model of an unknown object from range images. The model acquisition system provides facilities for range image acquisition, solid model construction and model merging: a solid representation is derived from a mesh surface that models the range data from each view, which is then merged with the model built from previous sensing operations. This modeling system has the benefit of constructing a solid model at each phase of the acquisition process, and is able to model parts that are difficult or impossible using other methods, such as extremely thin parts or those with deep through-holes. We introduce a technique that utilizes the incomplete model resulting from the merging process to plan the next sensing operation by finding a sensor viewpoint that will improve the fidelity of the model. A number of examples are given for the modeling of various objects that include planar and curved surfaces, features such as through-holes, and large self-occlusions.
Recommended citation: Michael Reed and Peter Allen 3-D Modeling from Range Imagery: An Incremental Method with a Planning Component, Image and Vision Computing, V. 17, pp. 99-111, 1999.