Tomoyuki Ueno @ Martin Mertens BERLIN

This Project consists of making a sculpture from a sword’s motion of Iaido. Iaido is Japanese traditional martial art concerned with drawing a sword and cutting in the same motion. It is practiced to prepare for a surprise attack. And those motions have to be faultless to keep oneself alive. From this perspective the motion of Iaido could be regarded as final and perfect just as a physical sculpture which displays this motions.

In order to create a sculpture which displays Iaido motions we captures data of the sword’s motion by means of motion capturind and created a physical model using a 3D printer.


Iaido was developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. In order to develop an adequate training system, different situations and circumstances of surprise attacks were studied, trying to find a way to use the sword effectively against as many different attacks as possible. The movement of the sword is not only to cut but also to defense in the same motion. Everything is taken into ccount.


The movements of the sword were captured by means of a system in an virtual reality CAVE [1], an immersive VR environment with five rear projected walls of 2.5 m edge-length each. Because Iaido draws and returns the sword from and to the scabbard, it was difficult to attach the tracking balls to the sword. Thus the balls were attached to the grip. Using this setup, a continuous tracking could be achieved. The data was exported from the capturing system for the later use in 3d printing in the form of tessellates 3d geometry. Even though it was technically not necessary, the movements of the sword were made visible in the CAVE using stereoscopic projection an existing 3d sketching system which translates user movements into 3d geometry [2, 3]. In this manner an approximation of the final form of the sculpture was visible during the entire capturing phase and available for review

and inspection in an one-to-one scale. The Iado movements were performed by the Iaido master Gerald Eisenack from Berlin. He used an original Iaido sword and wear the traditional hakama and keikogi.

Data preparation and 3d-printing

Two approaches were used to create appropriate data for the 3d-printing. The first approach included comprehensive manual post-processing procedures: partial re-orientation of the surface, dissolving of selfintersections, surface smoothing, et cetera.

The second approach used the raw tracking data and employed parametric programming for achieving the required data quality. After the data processing two different additive manufacturing techniques were used to create the sculptures: 3d-printing from gypsum and Selective Laser Sintering from metal.


1. Cruz-Neira, C., Sandin, D.J., DeFanti, T.A., R.V., K. & Hart, J.C. The CAVE: audio visual experience automatic virtual environment. Communications of the ACM, 35 (6), 1992, 64-72.

2. Israel, J.H., Wiese, E., Mateescu, M. & Stark, R. Investigating three-dimensional sketching for early conceptual design—Results from expert discussions and user studies. Computers & Graphics, 33 (4), 2009, 462-473.

3. Stark, R., Israel, J.H. & Wöhler, T. Towards hybrid modelling environments—Merging

desktop-CAD and virtual reality-technologies. CIRP Annals – Manufacturing Technology 2010 (59), 2010, 179-182.




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