Structural Design Using Laplacian Shells (Unknown language)

In: Computer Graphics Forum   ;  38 ,  5  ;  85-98  ;  2019
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We introduce a method to design lightweight shell objects that are structurally robust under the external forces they may experience during use. Given an input 3D model and a general description of the external forces, our algorithm generates a structurally-sound minimum weight shell object. Our approach works by altering the local shell thickness repeatedly based on the stresses that develop inside the object. A key issue in shell design is that large thickness values might result in self-intersections on the inner boundary creating a significant computational challenge during optimization. To address this, we propose a shape parametrization based on the solution to the Laplace's equation that guarantees smooth and intersection-free shell boundaries. Combined with our gradient-free optimization algorithm, our method provides a practical solution to the structural design of hollow objects with a single inner cavity. We demonstrate our method on a variety of problems with arbitrary 3D models under complex force configurations and validate its performance with physical experiments.