Developable Surfaces: Properties, Representations and Methods of Design
Mancewicz, Martha J.
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General Motors is interested in designing developable surfaces using computers. A developable surface is one that can be formed by bending a sheet of thin planar material. Developable surfaces, then, may be formed from sheet metal more easily than nondevelopable surfaces and are ideal shapes for binders used in sheet metal stamping. The speed and efficiency of designing developable binder surfaces would improve if current design methods could be replaced by computer-aided design (CAD). My job was to collect information on the mathematical properties and computer representations of developable surfaces and to summarize the information in a report. This paper is a modified version of that report which I wrote for OM with the aid of Dr. William Frey. Unless otherwise indicated, the mathematical results found in the appendices are the product of discussions we had with each other and occasionally with Dr. David Bindschadler.