EMBER: Exact Mesh Booleans via Efficient & Robust Local Arrangements

Philip Trettner, Julius Nehring-Wirxel, Leif Kobbelt

Boolean operators are an essential tool in a wide range of geometry processing and CAD/CAM tasks. We present a novel method, EMBER, to compute Boolean operations on polygon meshes which is exact, reliable, and highly performant at the same time. Exactness is guaranteed by using a plane-based representation for the input meshes along with recently introduced homogeneous integer coordinates. Reliability and robustness emerge from a formulation of the algorithm via generalized winding numbers and mesh arrangements. High performance is achieved by avoiding the (pre-)construction of a global acceleration structure. Instead, our algorithm performs an adaptive recursive subdivision of the scene’s bounding box while generating and tracking all required data on the fly. By leveraging a number of early-out termination criteria, we can avoid the generation and inspection of regions that do not contribute to the output. With a careful implementation and a work-stealing multi-threading architecture, we are able to compute Boolean operations between meshes with millions of triangles at interactive rates. We run an extensive evaluation on the Thingi10K dataset to demonstrate that our method outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms, even inexact ones like QuickCSG, by orders of magnitude.

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