Exploring hybrid 2d/3d visualizations

Theoretical (Analytical):

Practical (Implementation):

Literature Work:


3d-printing recently enables rapid and cheap construction of solid objects. This also has been exploited to visualize data. While this approach opens up a new dimension it only delivers a static view with limited possibilities of interaction—e.g., manual rotation in space. Some work has been published that tries to overcome this limitation. The general idea is to combine translucent 3d models with dynamic light sources like projectors in order to generate dynamic visualizations.

Problem Statement

The main questions of this project are whether and how such translucent 3d-model visualization can be combined with traditional interactive visualizations. For example, is it possible and beneficial to put a model on a table-top display? Which kinds of visualizations can be extended with a static third dimension while retaining enough interactivity to not hinder the analysis process? Hence, the focus of this project is strongly on the development of 3d-models, suitable visualizations as well as interaction techniques..


  • Implementation of a straightforward way to generate 3d-models from data
  • Development of a visualization that can be used "below" translucent 3d-models
  • Integratinon of 3d-models and visualization in an interactive prototype
  • Evaluation of developed techniques


  • Ability to do creative work independently
  • Interest in exploration / Tolerance to failure
  • Good implementation skills
  • Readiness to do basic manual work (3d-printing, post-processing)


  • Scope: Bachelor/Master
  • 6 Month Project, 3 Month Thesis (Bachelor) / 6 Month Thesis (Master)
  • Start: immediately



  • Using 3D Printing to Visualize Social Media Big Data [Weber and Gadepally, 2014]