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Newer Theory and More Robust Algorithms for Computer-Aided Design of Developable Surfaces

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Abstract:

The use of developable surfaces in design is of engineering importance because of the relative ease with which they can be manufactured. The problem of how to make surfaces developable is not new. The usual technique is by using two space curves, defining the edges of the surface. These are first created, and then a set of rulings are constructed between the space curves under the constraint of being developable. A problem with existing algorithms for designing developable surfaces is the tendency to include nondevelopable portions of the surface: areas of regression. A more reliable solution to the problem of creating a developable surface is presented. The key to the method is to define the developable surface in terms of a normal directrix. The shape of the normal directrix defines the resulting developable surface. Algorithms are defined to compute the shape of a normal directrix from a pair of space curves. Intersecting adjacent developable surfaces and generating the flat plate layouts were also accomplished. This paper presents research and development that started around 1987. The algorithms were implemented using ANSI C++ programming language and commercial computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD and CAM) software programs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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