Topology describes the way objects are connected together independent of their shape definition (geometry). In Caedium there are a range of topology operations, using our Flexile Technology, that allow you to modify your models in ways that would be prevented by standard geometry operations in a CAD system. Also topology operations allow you to combine faceted and analytic geometry into single hybrid models.
The topology-related tools can all be found on the Geometry Tool Palette.
Connect tools are available for faces, edges, and vertices. Connections are based on topology matching of two or more entities and a relative tolerance. When the connect constraint is satisfied, two or more entities are replaced by a single entity and the associated upper topology (e.g., for a face the upper topology is a volume) and lower topology (e.g., for a face the lower topology is edges and vertices) are updated.
Join tools are available for edge and faces. Joins are based on an entity (e.g., face) sharing one or more common lower entities (e.g., for a face the lower entities would be edges). Joins can only be accomplished on connected entities.
The Faces->2 Sided tool converts faces that are embedded within a volume into zero-thickness walls or double-sided faces.
Tools with Topology Extensions
Some geometry tools have a Topology Only property that disables geometry constraints during an operation.
Having first connected all edges, a set of faces can be stitched into one or more volumes based on topology alone using the Volumes->Stitch tool. The topology-based stitch operation will not change shapes whereas the standard geometry-based operation may. Also the topology-based stitch operation can deal with faceted and hybrid models whereas the geometry based operation can only deal with analytic geometry.
Setting the Topology Only property to on for the Boolean->Subtract tool allows a number of operations that are not permitted with analytic geometry. You can:
- Create hybrid models of faceted and analytic geometry.
- Create non-manifold models, e.g., you can subtract a face from a volume to embed a standalone face within the volume and also make the face part of the volume. Such a face can then be converted into a double-sided face using the Faces->2 Sided tool.
The topology subtract operation only applies to entities that fully intersect, i.e., the extent of the subtracted entity must be fully within the bounds of the receiving entity.
Setting the Topology Only property to on for the Boolean->Decompose tool performs the topology subtract operation described above and also connects the shared entities (e.g., faces in a volume decompose) to form a non-manifold multi-volume model.
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