Research Interest

Yunbo "WILL" Zhang's research is rooted in the fields of geometric modeling and optimization. He started his Ph.D. research with 3D surface parameterization and developable surface modeling and created computer-aided design (CAD) tools based on the algorithm he developed for the garment industry. During his postdoctoral studies, he stepped into the human-computer interaction (HCI) community and made contributions to it with his expertise in CAD and solid modeling. Centered on humans, Dr. Zhang’s research enables users, especially novices, to express their creativity using intuitive and easy-to-use CAD tools to design and fabricate personalized products. These research works fill the gap between emerging fabrication processes (e.g., additive manufacturing, laser cutting, and CNC machining) and novice users and democratize engineering design and fabrication. 

Dr. Zhang’s current research has focused on interactive generative design tools for both optimimality and the expression of designers’s intents. Dr. Zhang will dedicate his efforts to the core modeling methods and intuitive interactions for the next generation of CAD tools. He envisions that the next generations of CAD tools should become designers smart partners, which both support designers (especially novices) to express their high-level design intents and take care of the complex, deciduous, and yet important tasks, such as optimality, functionality, fabricability requirements, etc. Specifically, his three current research interests include: 1) interactive and intuitive next-generation generative CAD tools for both novice and experienced designers; 2) computational methods for emerging manufacturing processes, including robot-based additive manufacturing (AM) and functional AM; and 3) geometric-based depth information enhancement for human-robot interaction (HRI) and extended reality (XR) applications. 

Dr. Zhang has made contributions to multiple communities, including geometric modeling, CAD and solid modeling, HCI, and design and manufacturing. He published papers in the top journals and conferences of those communities, including JCAD, JMD, IEEE TVCG, IEEE CGA, C & G, CGForum, IEEE CVPR, ACM CHI, ACM UIST, and IEEE TASE. He serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, a Topics Board Member of the Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing, and a member of the international program committee of the Symposium on Solid and Physical Modeling (SPM). Dr. Zhang also worked on several guest editorships, including: the special issue on Smart and Advanced Manufacturing of the Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing, the special issue on Computational Fabrication of Computers & Graphics, the special issue on Augmented Reality Applications in Smart Manufacturing of the Journal of Manufacturing Systems, and the special issue on Technologies for Human Centric Free-form Products of Computer-aided Design and Applications.

Computational Design & Manufacturing

Related Publication: 
  1. Srikanthan Ramesh, Ola LA Harrysson, Prahalad K. Rao, Ali Tamayol, Denis Cormier, Yunbo Zhang, Iris V. Rivero, Extrusion bioprinting: Recent progress, challenges, and future opportunities, Bioprinting, 2020, 21 (e00116).
  2. Yunbo Zhang, Tsz-Ho Kwok, Customization and Topology Optimization of Compression Casts/Braces on Two-Manifold Surfaces, Computer-Aided Design, Special issue on Computer-Aided Design on Advances in Generative Design, Accepted.
  3. Yunbo Zhang, Tsz-Ho Kwok, An Interactive Product Customization Framework for Freeform Shapes, Rapid Prototyping Journal, 23(6), 1136-1145, 2017.
  4. Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C.L. Wang, Karthik Ramani, Optimal Fitting of Strain-Controlled Flattenable Mesh Surfaces, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, pp. 1-15, 2016.
  5. Tsz-Ho Kwok, Charlie C.L. Wang, Dongping Deng, Yunbo Zhang, Yong Chen, 4D Printing for Freeform Surfaces: Design Optimization of Origami and Kirigami Structures, ASME Transactions - Journal of Mechanical Design, 137(11), 111413, 2015.
  6. Wei Gao, Yunbo Zhang, Devarajan Ramanujan, Karthik Ramani, Yong Chen, Christopher B. Williams, Charlie C.L. Wang, Yung C. Shin, Song Zhang, Pablo D. Zavattieri, The Status, Challenges, and Future of Additive Manufacturing in Engineering, Computer-Aided Design, Special Issue on Geometric and Physical Modeling for Additive Manufacturing, 69, 65-89, 2015. (Top 1 downloaded in recent 90 days among all JCAD papers).
  7. Yu Wang, Kai-Ming Yu, Charlie C.L. Wang, Yunbo Zhang, Automatic Design of Conformal Cooling Circuit for Rapid Tooling, Computer-Aided Design, vol.43, no.8, pp.1001-1010, August 2011.
  8. Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C.L. Wang, WireWarping++: Robust and Flexible Surface Flattening with Length Control, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, vol.8, no.1, pp.205-215, January 2011.
  9. Charlie C.L. Wang, Yunbo Zhang, Hoi Sheung, From Styling Design to Products Fabricated by Planar Materials, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol.20, no.6, pp.74-85, November 2010.
  10. Hongwei Lin, Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C. L. Wang, Shuming Gao, Flattenable Mesh Processing by Controllable Laplacian Evolution, ASME IDETC/CIE 2010 Conference, 30th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15-18, 2010.

Geometric Modeling & Computer Graphics and Computer Vision



Related Publication:

  1. Hao Peng, Chuhua Xian, Yunbo Zhang, 3D Hand Mesh Reconstruction from a Monocular RGB Image, accepted by Computer Graphics International (CGI) 2020, and conditionally accepted by The Visual Computer Journal.
  2. Shuo Jin, Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C.L. Wang, Deformation with Enforced Metrics on Length, Area and Volume, Computer Graphics Forum Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 429–438, May 2014.
  3. Wuyuan Xie, Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C.L. Wang, C.-K. Chung, Surface-from-Gradients: An Approach Based on Discrete Geometry Processing, 2014 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, Columbus, Ohio, June 24-27, 2014. (Oral presentation paper - with acceptance ratio as 5.75%).
  4. Tsz-Ho Kwok, Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C.L. Wang, Constructing Common base Domains by Cues from Voronoi Diagram, Graphical Models, Special Issue of 2012 Geometric Modeling and Processing (GMP) conference, June 20-22, 2012, Mount Huang, Volume 74, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 152-163.
  5. Tsz-Ho Kwok, Yunbo Zhang, Charlie C.L. Wang, Efficient Optimization of Common Base Domains for Cross-Parameterization, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol.18, no.10, pp.1678-1692, Oct. 2012.
  6. Yuen-Shan Leung, Charlie C.L. Wang, Yunbo Zhang, Localized Construction of Curved Surfaces from Polygon Meshes: A Simple and Practical Approach on GPU, Computer-Aided Design, vol.43, no.6, pp.573-585, June 2011.

Human Computer Interaction


Related Publication:

  1.  Luis Paredes, Sai Swarup Reddy, Subramanian Chidambaram, Devashri Vagholkar, Yunbo Zhang, Bedrich Benes, Karthik Ramani, FabHandWear : An End-to-End Pipeline from Design to Fabrication of Customized Functional Hand Wearables, In Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, Presented at UbiComp 2021.
  2. Jonathan Ting, Yunbo Zhang, Sang Ho Yoon, James D. Holbery, Siyuan Ma, iMold: Enabling Interactive Design Optimization for In-Mold Electronics, In Proceedings of CHI EA '20: Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
  3. Subramanian Chidambaram*, Yunbo Zhang*, Venkatraghavan Sundararajan, Niklas Elmqvist, Karthik Ramani, Shape Structuralizer: Design, Fabrication, and User-driven Iterative Refinement of 3D Mesh Models, In Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2019), May 4–9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.  (* Equal Contribution Authors, acceptance rate 23.8%).  
  4. Sang Ho Yoon, Ke Huo, Yunbo Zhang, Guiming Chen, Luis Paredes, Subramanian Chidambaram, Karthik Ramani,  iSoft: A Customizable Soft Sensor with Real-time Continuous Contact and Stretching Sensing, In Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST 2017) , Quebec City, Canada, Oct 22-25, 2017. (Acceptance Rate: 22.5%)
  5. Min Liu*, Yunbo Zhang*, Jing Bai, Yuanzhi Cao, Jeffrey Alperovich, Karthik Ramani, WireFab: Mix-Dimension Modeling and Fabrication for 3D Mesh Models, In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017), Denver, CO, May 6-11, 2017. (* Equal Contribution Authors, acceptance rate 25%).
  6. Sang Ho Yoon, Yunbo Zhang, Ke Huo, Karthik Ramani, TRing: Instant and Customizable Interactions with Objects Using an Embedded Magnet and a Finger-Worn Device, In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pp. 169-181, 2016 (Acceptance rate 20.6%).
  7. Cecil Piya, Vinayak, Yunbo Zhang, Karthik Ramani, RealFusion: An Interactive Workflow for Repurposing Real-World Objects towards Early-stage Creative Ideation, In Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2016, June 1-3, Victoria, BC, Canada, pages 85-92, 2016 (Acceptance Rate 39.4%).
  8. Yunbo Zhang, Wei Gao, Luis Paredes, Karthik Ramani, CardBoardiZer: Creatively Customize, Articulate and Fold 3D Mesh Models, In Proceedings of the ACM 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 7-12, San Jose, CA USA, pages 897-907, 2016 (Acceptance rate 23.4%). 
  9. Wei Gao*, Yunbo Zhang*, Diogo C. Nazzetta, Karthik Ramani, Raymond J. Cipra, RevoMaker: Enabling Multi-directional and Functionally-embedded 3D Printing using a Rotational Cuboidal Platform, In Proceedings of UIST '15, Charlotte, NC, USA, Pages 437-446, 2015. (* Equal Contribution Authors, acceptance rate 23.6%).

AR/VR in Manufacturing/Smart Manufacturing








Related Publication:

  1. Wenhao Yang, Qinqin Xiao, Yunbo Zhang, HAR2bot: A Human-centered Augmented Reality Robot Programming Method with the Awareness of Cognitive Load, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Accepted.
  2. Wenhao Yang, Yunbo Zhang, Visualization Error Analysis and Management Strategies for Augmented Reality Stereo Video See-through Head-mounted Displays in Industry 4.0 Applications, In Proceedings of the ASME 2022 17th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2022, Accepted.
  3. Matt Ryan, Yiwen Wang, Qinqin Xiao, Rui Liu, Yunbo Zhang, Error Management-based Virtual Reality Training for Cnc Milling Set-up, In Proceedings of the ASME 2022 17th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2022, Accepted.
  4. Krzysztof Jarosz, Yunbo Zhang, Rui Liu, Investigating The Role of Auditory Perception of Cutting Process Conditions in CNC Machining, In Proceedings of the ASME 2022 17th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2022, Accepted.
  5. Matt Ryan, Yiwen Wang, Qinqin Xiao, Rui Liu, Yunbo Zhang, Error Management-based Virtual Reality Training for Cnc Milling Set-up, In Proceedings of the ASME 2022 17th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2022, Accepted.
  6. Wenhao Yang, Qinqin Xiao, Yunbo Zhang, An Augmented-Reality Based Human-Robot Interface for Robotics Programming in the Complex Environment, In Proceedings of the ASME 2021 16th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, MSEC 2021, June 21-25, 2021, Virtual, Online.
  7. Rui Liu, Chao Peng, Yunbo Zhang, Hannah Husarek, and Qi Yu, A Survey of Immersive Technologies and Applications for Industrial Product Development, Computers & Graphics, Elsevier, 2021.
  8. Yunbo Zhang, Tsz-Ho Kwok, Design and Interaction Interface using Augmented Reality for Smart Manufacturing, Procedia Manufacturing, 26, 1278-1286, 2018.
  9. Shane Terry, Hao Lu, Ismail Fidan, Yunbo Zhang, Khalid Tantawi, Terry Guo, Bahram Asiabanpour, The Influence of Smart Manufacturing towards Energy Conservation: A Review, MDPI Technologies, 8(2), 31.