Circular Arc Snakes and Kinematic Surface Generation



We discuss the theory, discretization, and numerics of curves which are evolving such that part of their shape, or at least their curvature as a function of arc length, remains unchanged. The discretization of a curve as a smooth sequence of circular arcs is well suited for such purposes, and allows us to reduce evolution of curves to the evolution of a control point collection in a certain finite-dimensional shape space. We approach this evolution by a 2-step process: linearized evolution via optimized velocity fields, followed by optimization in order to exactly fulfill all geometric side conditions. We give applications to freeform architecture, including “rationalization” of a surface by congruent arcs, form finding and, most interestingly, non-static architecture.