Planar panels and planar supporting beams in architectural structures

This paper deals with the interactive design of meshes with restrictive properties which are nevertheless highly relevant, e.g. for manufacturing. In the teaser image, we show a control structure for editing a quad mesh with planar faces where both families of mesh polylines have the property that they are entirely contained in a support plane transverse to the mesh.

In this paper we investigate geometric properties and modeling capabilities of quad meshes with planar faces whose mesh polylines enjoy the additional property of being contained in a single plane. This planarity is a major benefit in architectural design and building construction: if a structural element is contained in a plane, it can be manufactured on the ground without scaffolding and put into place as a whole. Further, the plane it is contained in serves as part of a so-called support structure. We discuss design of meshes under the requirement that one half of mesh polylines are planar (“P-meshes”), and we also investigate the geometry and design of meshes where all polylines enjoy this property (“PP-meshes”). We work in the space of planes and with appropriate transformations of that space. We also incorporate further properties relevant for architectural design, such as near-rectangular panels and repetitive nodes. We provide geometric insights, give explicit constructions, and show an approach to geometric modeling of both P-meshes and PP-meshes, in particular the case of nearly rectangular panels.