This paper presents a novel system that allows product designers to design, experience, and modify new shapes of objects, starting from existing ones. The system allows designers to acquire and reconstruct the 3D model of a real object and to visualize and physically interact with this model. In addition, the system allows designer to modify the shape through physical manipulation of the 3D model and to eventually print it using a 3D printing technology. The system is developed by integrating state-of-the-art technologies in the sectors of reverse engineering, virtual reality, and haptic technology. The 3D model of an object is reconstructed by scanning its shape by means of a 3D scanning device. Then, the 3D model is imported into the virtual reality environment, which is used to render the 3D model of the object through an immersive head mounted display (HMD). The user can physically interact with the 3D model by using the desktop haptic strip for shape design (DHSSD), a 6 degrees of freedom servo-actuated developable metallic strip, which reproduces cross-sectional curves of 3D virtual objects. The DHSSD device is controlled by means of hand gestures recognized by a leap motion sensor.

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