Abstract

The geometric challenges in the architectural design of freeform shapes come mainly from the physical realization of beams and nodes. We approach them via the concept of parallel meshes, and present methods of computation and optimization. We discuss planar faces, beams of controlled height, node geometry, and multilayer constructions. Beams of constant height are achieved with the new type of edge offset meshes. Mesh parallelism is also the main ingredient in a novel discrete theory of curvatures. These methods are applied to the construction of quadrilateral, pentagonal and hexagonal meshes, discrete minimal surfaces, discrete constant mean curvature surfaces, and their geometric transforms. We show how to design geometrically optimal shapes, and how to find a meaningful meshing and beam layout for existing shapes