Most flat sheet materials, such as wood, metal, and plastic used for architectural construction, are inextensible. This means that they cannot be stretched to make surfaces that have compound curvature. In order to use them to make “compound curved” surfaces, we need to create a series of flat patterns that can be assembled into a visual approximation. A surface that can be reduced to a flat pattern without being distorted is called developable.
The process of translating a compound curved geometry into pieces that can be developed is called rationalization.
In Rhino, create a surface that has significant compound curvature. Break the surface down into pieces that can be rebuilt as developable surfaces. Laser cut and assemble the pieces from white card stock or Bristol board.
• How close can you get the form of the physical artifact to the original digital geometry?
• How many, or few, individual components are required?
• Does the deconstruction need higher discretization at areas of greater curvature?
• How minimal can the boundary supports be to keep it in position?
• What is the best way to join the edges of each piece?