The Interactive Engineering Technologies department (IET) of Fraunhofer IGD conducts research into sketch-based methods and new geometry representations, especially subdivision-based and volumetric representations. In contrast to conventional boundary representations (B-rep), as used in computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering (CAE), volumetric representations allow for the description of properties within the volume and potentially direct use in simulations. In the lecture “Geometrische Methoden des CAE/CAD” (Geometric Methods of CAE/CAD), offered in cooperation with GRIS, we teach students the foundations of geometric modeling and processing with a focus on parametric curve and surface models, such as non-uninform rational B-spline (NURBS) curves and patches, B-reps and CAD operations.
Besides the development of conventional CAD tools, such as CAD2Vis which supports conversion between various CAD and visualization formats, novel volumetric model representations allow for new applications. By being able to model spatially varying material properties within an object, new mechanical properties can be modeled and then printed using state-of-the-art 3D printers that can combine six materials or more. Additionally, the volumetric nature of these novel representations allows for direct simulation without any slow and error-prone intermediate meshing step.