NURBS Tessellation

Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline surfaces are not suitable for direct visualization on modern GPU systems, and also cannot be represented in a number of widely used geometry storage formats (stl, dxf...). Thus, for both visualization and conversion BRL-CAD needs to implement the ability to tessellate NURBS volumes into explicit NMG representations.

There are various "quick and dirty" approaches to tessellating NURBS, but BRL-CAD's routines also should satisfy solidity constraints - e.g. if NURBS surfaces form a solid Boundary Representation (BREP) the results of the tessellation should also form a valid NMG solid. This involves successfully "merging" individual tessellations from surfaces to form solid meshes.

A good paper to start with to understand some of the issues involved:

The first step will be to successfully tessellate and display individual surfaces, followed by merging the individual surface tessellations into solid meshes.


  • Familiarity with C/C++

Difficulty: medium (low for first stages, medium for solid mesh generation)