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[2023] Reducing the Number of Different Faces in Free-Form Surface Approximations

Liu, Y., Lee, T.U., Javan, A.R., Pietroni, N. and Xie, Y.M., 2023. Computer-Aided Design, p.103633. [Link]

Free-form structures are highly valued for their aesthetic appeal in architecture, but they typically comprise panels of many different shapes, which can pose great challenges for building construction.

In this study, we aim to address this issue by proposing a novel clustering–optimization method to reduce the number of different n-gonal faces in free-form surface approximations. The method partitions the faces into several groups of similar shapes through clustering and transforms the ones within each group toward congruent forms through optimization. By utilizing this approach, the number of geometrically different panels can be reduced while also satisfying a user-specified error threshold. The potential practical application of this method is demonstrated by redesigning the façade of a real architectural project to achieve cost-effective solutions.

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