ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of Siggraph) 2014
We present a computational approach for designing wire meshes, i.e., freeform surfaces composed of woven wires arranged in a regular grid. To facilitate shape exploration, we map material properties of wire meshes to the geometric model of Chebyshev nets. This abstraction is exploited to build an efficient optimization scheme. While the theory of Chebyshev nets suggests a highly constrained design space, we show that allowing controlled deviations from the underlying surface provides a rich shape space for design exploration. Our algorithm balances globally coupled material constraints with aesthetic and geometric design objectives that can be specified by the user in an interactive design session. In addition to sculptural art, wire meshes represent an innovative medium for industrial applications including composite materials and architectural facades. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach using a variety of digital and physical prototypes with a level of shape complexity unobtainable using previous methods.
Our method can compute wire meshes that approximate given target shapes. From left to right: guide surface and final flattened wire mesh, overlay of wire mesh and guide surface, final wire mesh.