Improving the robustness and accuracy of the marching cubes algorithm for isosurfacing

Adriano Lopes, Ken Brodlie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a modification of the Marching Cubes algorithm for isosurfacing, with the intent of improving the representation of the surface in the interior of each grid cell. Our objective is to create a representation which correctly models the topology of the trilinear interpolant within the cell and which is robust under perturbations of the data and threshold value. To achieve this, we identify a small number of key points in the cell interior that are critical to the surface definition. This allows us to efficiently represent the different topologies that can occur, including the possibility of "tunnels." The representation is robust in the sense that the surface is visually continuous as the data and threshold change in value. Each interior point lies on the isosurface. Finally, a major feature of our new approach is the systematic method of triangulating the polygon in the cell interior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-29
Number of pages14
JournalIeee Transactions On Visualization And Computer Graphics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Accuracy
  • Isosurface
  • Marching cubes
  • Robustness
  • Trilinear interpolation

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