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Subject: Offset curves on a 3D surface for area coverage planning



Hello. I am looking into existing algorithms for computing offset
curves on a 3D surface. The intent is to use this algorithm to compute
a planned path on a 3D surface that completely covers the surface. The
input will be the 3D surface data and an initial curve over the surface
to guide the shape of the remaining, offset curves. One application
might be removing material on a mild 3D surface such as cutting grass
on some hills. I have seen some work on 2D as it relates to milling,
but not much on 3D. I do seem to see a lot of computer graphics
pictures with what looks like what I need, such as the the gargoyle
found lower down on the following page
. (Not looking for geodesics
though). The whole subject is wide open for me:

1. What is the best way to represent the surface?
2. What is the best way to represent a curve on the surface?
3. How has anyone done this algorithm in 3D already?
4. Are there any good books on this subject?
5. Any leads at all?

Thanks a lot.

Sincerely,

Jim


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