Optimal Algorithms for Separating a Polyhedron from Its Single-Part Mold

Prosenjit Bose, Tzvika Geft, Dan Halperin, Shahar Shamai

Casting is a manufacturing process where liquid material is poured into a mold having the shape of a desired product. After the material solidifies, the product is removed from the mold. We study the case where the mold is made of a single part and the object to be produced is a three-dimensional polyhedron. Objects that can be produced this way are called castable with a single-part mold. A direction in which the object can be removed without breaking the mold is called a valid removal direction. We give an $O(n)$-time algorithm that decides whether a given polyhedron with $n$ facets is castable with a single-part mold. When possible, our algorithm provides an orientation of the polyhedron in the mold and a direction in which the product can be removed without breaking the mold. Moreover, we provide an optimal $\Theta(n \log n)$-time algorithm to compute all valid removal directions for polyhdera that are castable with a single-part mold. Both algorithms are an improvement by a linear factor over the previously best known algorithms for both of these problems.

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