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D-NURBS: A Physics-Based Framework for Geometric Design
March 1996 (vol. 2 no. 1)
pp. 85-96

Abstract—This paper presents dynamic NURBS, or D-NURBS, a physics-based generalization of Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines. NURBS have become a de facto standard in commercial modeling systems because of their power to represent both free-form shapes and common analytic shapes. Traditionally, however, NURBS have been viewed as purely geometric primitives, which require the designer to interactively adjust many degrees of freedom (DOFs)—control points and associated weights—to achieve desired shapes. The conventional shape modification process can often be clumsy and laborious. D-NURBS are physics-based models that incorporate mass distributions, internal deformation energies, forces, and other physical quantities into the NURBS geometric substrate. Their dynamic behavior, resulting from the numerical integration of a set of nonlinear differential equations, produces physically meaningful, hence intuitive shape variation. Consequently, a modeler can interactively sculpt complex shapes to required specifications not only in the traditional indirect fashion, by adjusting control points and setting weights, but also through direct physical manipulation, by applying simulated forces and local and global shape constraints. We use Lagrangian mechanics to formulate the equations of motion for D-NURBS curves, tensor-product D-NURBS surfaces, swung D-NURBS surfaces, and triangular D-NURBS surfaces. We apply finite element analysis to reduce these equations to efficient numerical algorithms computable at interactive rates on common graphics workstations. We implement a prototype modeling environment based on D-NURBS and demonstrate that D-NURBS can be effective tools in a wide range of CAGD applications such as shape blending, scattered data fitting, and interactive sculpting.

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Index Terms:
NURBS, geometric modeling, computer-aided design, computer graphics physics-based models, finite elements, dynamics.
Citation:
Hong Qin, Demetri Terzopoulos, "D-NURBS: A Physics-Based Framework for Geometric Design," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 85-96, March 1996, doi:10.1109/2945.489389
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