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Curve

Curve Entities

• All existing CAD systems provide users

with curve entities, which can be divided

into analytic and synthetic entities.

Analytic entities are points, lines, arcs and

circles, fillets and chambers, and conies

(ellipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas).

Synthetic entities include various types of

spline (cubic spline and B-spline) and

Bezier curves.

Tables 6.1 to 6.5 show the most common methods

utilized by CAD systems to create curve entities

Surface

• Shape design and the representation of complex objects

such as car, ship, and airplane bodies as well as

castings cannot be achieved utilizing the curves . In such

cases, surfaces must be utilized to describe objects

precisely and accurately. We create surfaces, and then

we use them to cut and trim solid features and primitives

to obtain the models of the complex objects. Surface

creation usually begins with data points or curves.

• Surface creation on CAD/CAM systems usually requires

curves as a start. A surface might require two boundary

curves, as in the case of a ruled surface that we cover in

this chapter. All curves can be used to generate

surfaces. In order to visualize surfaces on a computer

screen, a mesh, say m x n in size, is usually displayed.

The mesh size is controllable by the user.

Surface Entities

• During surface creation on a CAD/CAM system, you

should follow the modeling guidelines and strategies.

Moreover, you should be careful when selecting curves

to create surfaces. Selecting the mismatching ends of

curves results in twisted surfaces as shown in Figure

7.1. The figure shows how the wrong ruled surface is

created if its defining curves are selected near the wrong

ends. The +'s in the figure indicate the selection

locations. In such a case, the user deletes the surface

and recreates it by selecting the matching ends. As a

general rule, a CAD system uses the midpoint of a curve

to interpret the user's click on a curve. If he click is on

the right half of the curve, its right end point is selected,

and vice versa.

Figure 7.1 Construction of improper and proper surfaces.

lines (called mesh), which crisscross the surface and so break it up into

a network of interconnected patches. The default setting of a CAD

system does not display a surface mesh — the surface is displayed

with its four boundary curves only. In such a case, the mesh size is 2 x

2, (All surfaces that we create define rectangular patches.) We can

change the default mesh size. CAD systems provide users with a menu

that allows them to specify the mesh size.

Figure 7.2 shows surfaces of revolutions with mesh sizes of

4 x 4 and 20 x 20. It should be mentioned that a finer mesh

size for a surface does not improve its mathematical

representation; it only improves its visualization. Finally,

some CAD/CAM systems do not permit their users to

delete curves used to create surfaces unless the latter are

deleted first.

• Following are descriptions of major surfaces:

1. Plane surface: It is the simplest surface. It

requires three noncoincident points to define an

infinite plane. The plane surface can be used to

generate cross sections by intersecting a solid

with it. Figure 1 shows planar surfaces.

2. Ruled (lofted) surface: It is a linear surface. It

interpolates linearly between two boundary

curves that define the surface (rails). Rails can

be any curves. This surface is ideal for

representing surfaces that do not have any

twists or kinks. Figure 2 gives some examples.

Figure 1. Plane surface

3. Surface of revolution: It is an axisymmetric surface that

can model axisymmetric objects. It is generated by

rotating a planar curve in space about the axis of

symmetry a certain angle as shown in Figure 3.

4. Tabulated cylinder: It is a surface generated by

translating a planar curve a certain distance along a

specified direction (axis of the cylinder or directrix) as

shown in Figure 4. The plane of the curve is

perpendicular to the directrix. This surface is not literally

a cylinder. It is used to generate extruded surfaces that

have identical cross sections.

Figure 3. Surface of revolution

• 5. Bezier surface: It is a surface that

approximates or interpolates given input data. It

is different from the previous surfaces in that it is

a synthetic surface. It extends the Bezier curve

to surfaces. It is a general surface that permits

twists, and kinks. Bezier surface allows only

global control of the surface. Figure 5 shows a

Bezier surface.

• 6. BspIine surface: It is a surface that can approximate or

interpolate given input data. Figure 7.8 shows an interpolating

example. It is a synthetic surface. It is a general surface like a

Bezier surface but with the advantage of permitting local control of

the surface.

• 7. Coons surface: The previously described surfaces are used with

either open boundaries or given data points. A Coons patch is used

to create a surface using curves that form closed boundaries as

shown in Figure 7.9.

8. Fillet surface: It is a Bspline surface that blends two

surfaces together as shown in Figure 7.10. The two original

surfaces may or may not be trimmed.

9. Offset surface: Existing surfaces can be offset to create

new ones identical in shape but with different dimensions.

It is a useful surface to use to speed up surface creation.

For example, to create a hollow cylinder, the outer or inner

cylinder can be created using a cylinder command and the

other one can be created by an offset command. The offset

surface command becomes very efficient to use if the

original surface is a composite one. Figure 7.11 shows an

offset surface.

Example

Solid

Solid models are known to be complete, valid,

and unambiguous representations of objects.

Simply stated, a complete solid is one which

enables a point in space to be classified relative

to the object, if it is inside, outside, or on the

object. This classification is sometimes call

spatial addressability. A valid solid is one that

does not have dangling edges or faces. An

unambiguous solid has one and only one

interpretation. Solid modeling achieves

completeness, validity, and unambiguity of

geometric models.

CAD systems offer two approaches to creating

solid models: primitives and features. The

former approach allows designers to use

predefined shapes (primitives) as building blocks

to create complex solids. Designers must use

Boolean operations to combine the primitives.

This approach is limited by the restricted shapes

of the primitives. The features are more flexible

as they allow the construction of more complex

and elaborate solids than what the primitives

offer. Some CAD systems offer both

approaches, while others offer only the features

approach.

• Consider the object shown in Figure 9.1 to illustrate the

two approaches. We can create a block and subtract six

cylinders from it using the primitives approach. Or, we

can create a rectangle with six circles inside it in the Top

sketch plane and extrude it using the features approach.

The resulting solid is the feature in this case.

Geometry and Topology

• A solid model of an object consists of both the

topological and geometrical data of the object. The

completeness and unambiguity of a solid model are

attributed to the fact that its database stores both its

geometry and its topology. The difference between

geometry and topology is illustrated in Figure 9.2.

Geometry (sometimes called metric information) is the

actual dimensions that define the entities of the object.

The geometry that defines the object shown in Figure 9.2

is the lengths of lines L1, L2, and L3, the angles between

the lines, and the radius R and the center P1 of the half

circle.

Topology (sometimes called combinatorial

structure) is the connectivity and associativity of

the object entities. It has to do with the notion of

neighborhood; that is, it determines the

relational information between object entities.

The topology of the object shown in Figure 9.2b

can be stated as follows: L1 shares a vertex

(point) with L2 and C1, L2 shares a vertex with

L1, and L3, L3 shares a vertex with L2 and C1,

L1 and L3 do not overlap, and P1 lies outside

the object. Based on these definitions, neither

geometry nor topology alone can completely

define objects.

While solid models are complete and unambiguous, they are not unique. An

object may he constructed in various ways. Consider the object shown in

Figure 9.3. Using the primitive approach, one can construct the solid model

of the object by dividing it into two blocks and a cylinder. We can add the

two blocks first and then subtract the cylinder (Figure 9.36), or we can

subtract the cylinder from a block and add the other block to the resulting

subsolid (Figure 9.3c). Figure 9.4 shows two alternatives (create different

cross sections and extrude them) if we use the features approach.

Regardless of the order and method of construction, the resulting solid

model of the object is always complete and unambiguous. However, there

will always be one way that is more efficient than others to construct solid

models, as is the case with curves and surfaces.

General types of solid

More explanation on solid

Solid Entities

The entities we use to create solid models

depend on the approach we use. The

primitives approach uses primitives and

the features approach uses sketches.

Many CAD systems provide both

approaches to increase their modeling

domain. Let look at the basics of

primitives.

Primitives are considered building blocks.

Primitives are simple, basic shapes which

can be combined by a mathematical set of

Boolean operations to create the solid.

Primitives themselves are considered valid

offtheshelf solids. The user usually

positions primitives as required before

applying Boolean operations to construct

the final solid.

There is a wide variety of primitives available

commercially to users. However, the four most

commonly used ones are the block, cylinder,

cone, and sphere. These are based on the four

natural quadrics: planes, cylinders, cones, and

spheres. For example, the block is formed by

intersecting six planes. These quadrics are

considered natural because they represent the

most commonly occurring surfaces in

mechanical design which can be produced by

rolling, turning, milling, cutting, drilling, and other

machining operations used in industry.

Following are descriptions of the most commonly

used primitives

• 1. Block. This is a box or cube whose geometrical data is its width, height,

and depth. Its local coordinate system XL,YL,ZL is shown in Figure 1.

Point P defines the origin of the XLYL,ZL system. The signs of W, H, and D

determine the position of the block relative to the coordinate system. For

example, a block with a negative value of W is displayed as if deblock

shown in Figure 9.5 is mirrored about the XL,ZL, plane.

• 2. Cylinder. This primitive is a right circular cylinder whose geometry is

defined by its radius R (or diameter D) and length H. The length H is usually

taken along the direction the ZL axis. H can be positive or negative.

• 3. Cone. This is a right circular cone or a frustum of a right circular cone

whose base diameter R, top diameter (for truncated cone), and height H are

userdefined.

• 4. Sphere. This is defined by its radius R or diameter D and is centered

about the origin of its local coordinate system.

• 5. Wedge. This is a right angled wedge whose height H. width W, and base

depth D form its geometric data.

• 6. Torus. This primitive is generated by the revolution of a circle about an

axis lying in its plane ZL axis in Figure 1. The torus geometry can be defined

by the radius (or diameter) of its body R1 and the radius (or diameter) of the

centerline of the torus body R2, or the geometry can be defined by the inner

radius (or diameter) R1 and outer radius R0.

• All these primitives can be created using the

features approach. They are all 21/2 D objects.

The block, cylinder, and wedge are uniform

thickness. The cone, sphere, and torus are

axisymmetric. This explains why some CAD

systems such as Pro/E,SolidWorks and CATIA

do not offer them — the user can generate them

via sketching. This simplifies software

development as there is no need to write

separate primitives' functions.

Figure 1. Most common primitives

Two or more primitives can be combined to form a solid.

To ensure the validity of the resulting solid, the allowed

combinatorial relationships between primitives are

achieved via Boolean (or set) operations. The available

Boolean operators are union (U or +), intersection (n or

I), and difference ( ). The union operator is used to

combine or add together two objects or primitives.

Intersecting two primitives gives a shape equal to their

common value. The difference operator is used to

subtract one object from the other and results in a shape

equal to the difference in their volumes.

Figure 8. A typical solid and its building primitives

End of lecture

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