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A Laguerre geometric approach to rational offsets. (English) Zbl 0903.68190

Summary: Laguerre geometry provides a simple approach to the design of rational curves and surfaces with rational offsets. These so-called PH curves and PN surfaces can be constructed from arbitrary rational curves or surfaces with help of a geometric transformation which describes a change between two models of Laguerre geometry. Closely related to that is their optical interpretation as anticaustics of arbitrary rational curves/surfaces for parallel illumination. A theorem on rational parametrizations for envelopes of natural quadrics leads to algorithms for the computation of rational parametrizations of surfaces; those include canal surfaces with rational spine curve and rational radius function, offsets of rational ruled surfaces or quadrics, and surfaces generated by peripheral milling with a cylindrical or conical cutter. Laguerre geometry is also useful for the construction of PN surfaces with rational principal curvature lines. New families of such principal PN surfaces are determined.

MSC:

68U05 Computer graphics; computational geometry (digital and algorithmic aspects)
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