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J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2018;18(2):021001-021001-18. doi:10.1115/1.4037227.

This paper presents a new method for extracting feature edges from computer-aided design (CAD)-generated triangulations. The major advantage of this method is that it tends to extract feature edges along the centroids of the fillets rather than along the edges where fillets are connected to nonfillet surfaces. Typical industrial models include very small-radius fillets between relatively large surfaces. While some of those fillets are necessary for certain types of analyses, many of them are irrelevant for many other types of applications. Narrow fillets are unnecessary details for those applications and cause numerous problems in the downstream processes. One solution to the small-radius fillet problem is to divide the fillets along the centroid and then merge each fragment of the fillet with nonfillet surfaces. The proposed method can find such fillet centroids and can substantially reduce the adverse effects of such small-radius fillets. The method takes a triangulated geometry as input and first simplifies the model so that small-radius, or “small,” fillets are collapsed into line segments. The simplification is based on the normal errors and therefore is scale-independent. It is particularly effective for a shape that is a mix of small and large features. Then, the method creates segmentation in the simplified geometry, which is then transformed back to the original shape while maintaining the segmentation information. The groups of triangles are expanded by applying a region-growing technique to cover all triangles. The feature edges are finally extracted along the boundaries between the groups of triangles.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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