Why a mesh modeling engine such as Polygonica makes sense

Why a mesh modeling engine such as Polygonica makes sense

By Roopinder Tara, engineering.com

With everything in the world being designed in 3D and almost all of it represented precisely with 10 degrees of precision, with everything smooth and straight, we may have missed a very important detail: the real world is anything but smooth and straight. Objects in the natural world are at best curvy, but sometimes craggy, jagged or random—no two snowflakes are alike, mountains are not cones and the Earth is not exactly a sphere. Even man-made objects that are originally represented as perfect geometry exist with shapes that are not quite perfect—their imperfections a result of manufacturing fallibility.

A 69,000 polygon model (right) created for fast rendering in augmented and mixed-reality applications. Original 5.4 million polygon CAD assembly (left) was reduced using Polygonica’s shrink-wrapping and simplification algorithms. (Picture courtesy of MachineWorks.)

Think of the highly precise laser scanners that return a point cloud consisting of millions, if not billions, of points with X, Y and Z coordinates. The points form polygons, usually triangles, which are connected to make a faceted (not smooth) surface. Despite the great detail possible, the polygon mesh can be inaccurate or unrepresentative of the object or scene being scanned for a number of reasons.

For example, scanning a doorknob. The scanner will not return a smooth model representative of the molded parts that constitute a doorknob. It will not look like one because it will be faceted, and it certainly won’t behave like one (a mechanism).

What a Fine Mesh We Made

Another type of modeler is needed to handle these irregular shapes, such as those generated from 3D scanners. The creators of Polygonica thought the same thing. Most solid modelers try to represent natural shapes and manage objects with a mix of simple primitive shapes based on their geometry kernels...

You can read the full article over on the engineering.com website.

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