Fabricable Unobtrusive 3D-QR-Codes with Directional Light

Hao Peng, Peiqing Liu, Lin Lu*, Andrei Sharf, Lin Liu, Dani Lischinski, Baoquan Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


QR code is a 2D matrix barcode widely used for product tracking, identification, document management and general marketing. Recently, there have been various attempts to utilize QR codes in 3D manufacturing by carving QR codes on the surface of the printed 3D shape. Nevertheless, significant shape editing and modulation may be required to allow readability of the embedded 3D-QR-codes with good decoding accuracy. In this paper, we introduce a novel QR code 3D fabrication framework aimed at unobtrusive embedding of 3D-QR-codes in the shape hence introducing minimal shape modulation. Essentially, our method computes bi-directional carvings in the 3D shape surface to obtain the black-and-white QR pattern. By using a directional light source, the black-and-white QR pattern emerges as lighted and shadow casted blocks on the shape respectively. To account for minimal modulation and elusiveness, we optimize the QR code carving w.r.t. shape geometry, visual disparity and light source position. Our technique employs a simulation of lighting phenomena through carved modules on the shape to ensure adequate contrast of the printed 3D-QR-code.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) Computer Graphics Forum © 2020 The Eurographics Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • CCS Concepts
  • • Computing methodologies → Volumetric models; Parametric curve and surface models


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