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DESIA: A General Framework for Designing Interlocking Assemblies

ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia), 2018

Figure 1: Various interlocking assemblies designed using our framework, from left to right: voxelized puzzle, plate structure, furniture, and frame structure. Our method supports different types of joints as highlighted in the zooms.


Abstract

Interlocking assemblies have a long history in the design of puzzles, furniture, architecture, and other complex geometric structures. The key defining property of interlocking assemblies is that all component parts are immobilized by their geometric arrangement, preventing the assembly from falling apart. Computer graphics research has recently contributed design tools that allow creating new interlocking assemblies. However, these tools focus on specific kinds of assemblies and explore only a limited space of interlocking configurations, which restricts their applicability for design.

In this paper, we propose a new general framework for designing interlocking assemblies. The core idea is to represent part relationships with a family of base Directional Blocking Graphs and leverage efficient graph analysis tools to compute an interlocking arrangement of parts. This avoids the exponential complexity of brute-force search. Our algorithm iteratively constructs the geometry of assembly components, taking advantage of all existing blocking relations when constructing successive parts. As a result, our approach supports a wider range of assembly forms compared to previous methods and provides significantly more design flexibility. We show that our framework facilitates efficient design of complex interlocking assemblies, including new solutions that cannot be achieved by state of the art approaches.