Surface Continuity

@StudioClues and I had an interesting discussion over Twitter about the merits of curvature and surface continuity in product design. While we designers and CAD sculptors geek out on the technicalities of making G2 happen, it’s important to remember that curvature continuity is not a design goal in and of itself, merely a modeling problem for the capture of design intent.

Thomas’ main concern was valid, “can end users really tell the difference between a painstaking sculpted G2+ surface and a radial fillet?” Maybe. Maybe not. I certainly can. Always makes me wonder why the designers let it slip when I see bad curvature breaks. Low quality surfacing implies low quality product, IM(v)HO.

Here is a pretty good description of what we’re talking about:

I’m also happy to see that Autodesk Alias 2011 will have G3 continuity built in:

For some insight on why we actually care about curvature continuity, have a look at this: On Form, Curvature, and Emotion.

Comments are happening on the new Form Loves Function Discussion Forum.

What Do You Want to Know?

I have a few ideas for posts and topics of discussion and I’d like to know what would be most valuable to you. Most of my input will focused on practical applications in product design and development but I’m open to other ideas.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Tolerance analysis and datum selection
  • Design and evaluation of assembly constraints
  • Designing thermal systems
  • Stress analysis
  • CAD modeling techniques

Please post a comment with anything else you think might start an interesting discussion.

Comments are happening on the new Form Loves Function Discussion Forum.

Edit 2010/03/15: posted link to the forum; comments closed on the thread.