Commercial CAD surface modelling software is based almost exclusively on Bezier, B-spline and NURBS representations. These methods offer simple interactive shape modification and computationally efficient interrogations, but have some serious practical limitations. The root cause of all these problems is that the parametric polynomial methods are not geometry-based, and the trouble is compounded by the master geometry philosophy which treats the CAD model as if it were absolutely correct. An alternative purely geometric approach to surface modelling has been established, where the surface shape is characterised by a grid of points lying on the surface, but it is recognised that this approach would require major changes in existing CAE systems. This application paper explains the rationale to develop algorithms, which would plug into existing CAE software systems, so that the user could benefit from the point-based construction without disturbing the established mode of operation. The new point-based approach has achieved significant success in ensuring that form tools produce panels within a specified tolerance.
- point-based surfaces
- forming tool design