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Rapid prototyping processes rigorously require that a CAD model to be manufactured must represent a closed volume and the boundary of the model be continuous and closed. This requirement is difficult to be met by surface models consisting of a collection of separate trimmed and untrimmed surfaces. In practice, however, sophisticated models are mostly constructed by surface modelers. This paper presents a robust algorithm solving this dilemma. The algorithm first converts surface models into the B-rep solid representation and then performs the triangulation satisfying the so-called vertex-to-vertex condition set by the STL file format, the de facto RP industry standard. The essence of the algorithm is a topology analyzer which generates the topological structure for a surface model. The topology analyzer finds the matching surfaces for each surface in the model and subsequently merges the matching boundaries according to the manifold criteria. The robustness of the algorithm has been demonstrated by numerous practical examples.
representation conversion, manifold solids, topology, trimmed surfaces, rapid prototyping.

X. Sheng and I. R. Meier, "Generating Topological Structures for Surface Models," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 15, no. , pp. 35-41, 1995.
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