Meshes with Spherical Faces

Meshes with spherical faces

Discrete surfaces with spherical faces are interesting from a simplified manufacturing viewpoint when compared to other double curved face shapes. Furthermore, by the nature of their definition they are also appealing from the theoretical side leading to a Möbius invariant discrete surface theory. We therefore systematically describe so called sphere meshes with spherical faces and circular arcs as edges where the Möbius transformation group acts on all of its elements. Driven by aspects important for manufacturing, we provide the means to cluster spherical panels by their radii. We investigate the generation of sphere meshes which allow for a geometric support structure and characterize all such meshes with triangular combinatorics in terms of non-Euclidean geometries. We generate sphere meshes with hexagonal combinatorics by intersecting tangential spheres of a reference surface and let them evolve – guided by the surface curvature – to visually convex hexagons, even in negatively curved areas. Furthermore, we extend meshes with circular faces of all combinatorics to sphere meshes by filling its circles with suitable spherical caps and provide a remeshing scheme to obtain quadrilateral sphere meshes with support structure from given sphere congruences. By broadening polyhedral meshes to sphere meshes we exploit the additional degrees of freedom to minimize intersection angles of neighboring spheres enabling the use of spherical panels that provide a softer perception of the overall surface.

Martin Kilian, Anthony Cisneros Ramos, Christian Müller and Helmut Pottmann, Meshes with spherical faces. ACM Transactions on Graphic. 42/6, 10.1145/3618355.