Computer-aided design/manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems intended to support automated design and manufacturing applications such as shape generation and solid free-form fabrication (SFF) must provide not only methods for creating and editing models of objects to be manufactured, but also methods for interrogating the models. Interrogation refers to any process that derives information from the model. Typical interrogation tasks include determine surface area, volume or inertial properties, computing surface points and normals for rendering, and computing slice descriptions for SFF.
While currently available commercial modeling systems generally employ a boundary representation (B-rep) implementation of solid modeling, research efforts have considered implicit modeling schemes as a potential source of improved robustness. Implicit implementations are available for a broad range of modeling operations, but interrogation operations have been widely considered too costly for many applications.
This paper describes a method based on interval analysis for interrogating implicit solid models that aims at achieving both robustness and efficiency.