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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Interference detection among solids and surfaces

In many industrial environments it is necessary to determine whether there is interference among components. There are many potential interference problems in products made up of assemblies of components and in product manufacturing and testing. Typically, drawings are used in an attempt to detect such unwanted interferences, but the two-dimensional, static drafting medium does not always show interferences among three-dimensional, moving parts. This paper presents a computer representation for solids and surfaces and algorithms which carry out interference checking among objects so represented. Objects are represented as polyhedra or as piecewise planar surfaces. Two types of interference checking are discussed: detection of intersections among objects in fixed positions and detection of collisions among objects moving along specified trajectories.

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