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Molds for Meshes: Computing Smooth Parting Lines and Undercut Removal

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3 Author(s)
Weishi Li ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Cardiff Univ., Cardiff, UK ; Martin, R.R. ; Langbein, F.C.

We consider the problem of computing a parting line for a mold for a complex mesh model, given a parting direction, and the related problem of removing small undercuts, either preexisting, or resulting from the parting line. Existing parting line algorithms are unsuitable for use with complex meshes: the faceted nature of such models leads to a parting line which zig-zags or wanders across the surface undesirably. Our method computes a smooth parting line which runs through a band of triangles whose normals are approximately perpendicular to the parting direction. We generate a skeleton of this triangle band to find its distinct topological cycles, and to decompose it into simple pieces. After selecting paths making a good cycle, we generate a final smooth parting line by iteratively improving the geometry of this cycle. Compliance in the physical material, and/or modifications to eliminate minor undercuts ensure that such a parting line is practically useful.

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Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 3 )