During the annual top conference of the Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which took place in Anaheim, USA, IST Austria Professor Bernd Bickel and his group present an algorithm that allows improved technical modelling of planar-rod structures consisting of interlocking wires. After designing an aesthetically pleasing structure, e.g. a car or a duck, the contours of the objects are re-calculated with the new algorithm. In this way, necessary adaptions of the structure and its connection points are computed to guarantee optimal stability of the object fabricated by the wire bending machine. The 2D structures are assembled to a 3D object without requiring additional connectors or soldering points.
"We were able to find a mathematical formulation for an exciting problem which allowed us to solve this problem in a second step. The software can be a useful tool for designers and engineers," says Bernd Bickel concerning the recently developed algorithm. The software implies applications to art on the one hand, but wire sculptures on the other hand present an extremely efficient and fast alternative for low-fidelity rapid prototyping due to the manufacturing time and required material scaling up linearly with the physical size of objects. The software allows a verification of function and stability resulting in the production of the optimal object only.
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