Computer-Aided Design as Language

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Yaroslav Ganin, Sergey Bartunov, Yujia Li, Ethan Keller, Stefano Saliceti


Computer-Aided Design (CAD) applications are used in manufacturing to model everything from coffee mugs to sports cars. These programs are complex and require years of training and experience to master. A component of all CAD models particularly difficult to make are the highly structured 2D sketches that lie at the heart of every 3D construction. In this work, we propose a machine learning model capable of automatically generating such sketches. Through this, we pave the way for developing intelligent tools that would help engineers create better designs with less effort. The core of our method is a combination of a general-purpose language modeling technique alongside an off-the-shelf data serialization protocol. Additionally, we explore several extensions allowing us to gain finer control over the generation process. We show that our approach has enough flexibility to accommodate the complexity of the domain and performs well for both unconditional synthesis and image-to-sketch translation.