An important method to acquire knowledge about an object is to measure its shape. Chris Kruszynski of the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), the Dutch national research center for mathematics and computer science in Amsterdam, has conducted research on interactive measuring methods of three-dimensional objects. On January 25 he received his PhD at the TU Eindhoven on his thesis: "Interactive Measurements of Three-Dimensional Objects." With the methods and techniques that he describes in his thesis, researchers can perform more accurate measurements. The results of his research can be used by biologists, industrial designers and in the medical world.
Kruszynski was specifically researching methods to measure branching marine coral. He performed for the first time a fully three-dimensional analysis on 3D CT scans of corals. The coral was first digitized by a CT scanner. Based on this 3D-scan, a virtual replica of the object was reconstructed, after which the measurements were performed on this replica. This is much more accurate than performing measurements on the original coral. By using the interactive techniques developed by Kruszynski, biologists have gained a better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the growth of coral.
"In my research I focus on measuring the morphological characteristics of objects" says Kruszynski. One of the major problems is the presence of artifacts in the data. According to Kruszynski, interaction in the measuring process is essential in order to understand and eliminate these artifacts. He developed a 3D interface that is not only visually oriented but also uses the sense of touch, thereby making this process easier. This 3D interface allows the researcher to hold and touch the object in his hand, like a normal object. For this a 3D printed replica of the data is used as a tangible 'input prop'.
According to Kruszynski, the use of visualization and interaction during the measurement process has many advantages. With the help of 3D visualization, coral or other three-dimensional objects can be analyzed more accurately, and new possibilities are offered to edit the data. Also, the measurements can be analyzed in a highly interactive manner.