Scans 3D

Reverse engineering the Hoberman sphere

This article describes and explains the process of 3D scanning and constructing a computational model of the Huberman sphere.

The Huberman sphere  is an iconic object made out of multiple scissor like joints arranged in a “icosidodecahedron”formation. It is highly dynamic and can expand up to three times its original size. The complexity of the Huberman dome makes it a preferable object to experiment and practice 3D scanning methods and software tools.

The scanning was done with a Structured-light 3D scanner at the institute of mathematics, technical university, Berlin.

The highly dynamic nature of the sphere requited to restrain it using various methods dew to scanning durations and the necessity to rotate the scanned object (or in some cases the scanner).

After the first set of data was acquired, Rhinoceros was used to convert, clean and position the scanned object.

The first data set provided general geometrical information, but the surface quality came out poor and unsuitable for rebuilding. Other sets of scans were needed, this time for the independent parts of the structure.

Converting the files and importing them into Solidworks.

Reconstructing the parts according to the imported scanned geometry (colored red and yellow)

Assembling the newly constructed parts into a dynamic module.

Assembling the complete structure using triangular modules.

The module system was developed to compensate for the lack of computation force and the inability of the software to manipulate real time models of this size and complexity (the complete sphere has the size of a football field). The gaps between some joints are dew to limits of the software assembling function (in reality the joints have a greater degree of freedom in all axises and the complete structure is highly supple and adaptable).

The completed sphere.

Special thanks to Dipl.-Ing. Ben Jastram and the Berlin 3D LAB team.
Michel David 2010

Download the 3D : Huberman_sphere_model


3 comments on “Scans 3D

  1. This looks like great work. I would like to design a tube version of the Hoberman sphere. Is there any chance I can get the Solidworks version of the parts and assembly? I will credit the makers for any work I build upon.

  2. Amazing work! I was wondering if I could get the SolidWorks version of the parts and assembly to do some testing on with FEA? Credit to the makers will be shown for anything findings reported.

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