A Free Form Feature Taxonomy
In this paper the notion of free form feature for aesthetic design is presented. The design of industrial products constituted by free form surfaces is done by using CAD systems representing curves and surfaces by means of NURBS functions, which are usually defined by low level entities that are not intuitive and require some knowledge of the mathematical language.
Similarly to the feature-based approach adopted by CAD systems for classical mechanical design, a set of high level modelling entities which provides commonly performed shape modifications has been identified. Particularly, the paper suggests a classification of the so-called detail features for an aesthetic and/or functional characterization of predefined free form surfaces.
Feature types are formally described by means of an analytical definition of the surface modification through deformation and elimination laws. A topological classification is then given according to the application domain of such laws. A further sub-classification of morphological types is then suggested according to geometric properties of weak convexity and concavity for the resulting modified shape, leading to a taxonomy of simple free form features meaningful for aesthetic design.