We are working on an alternative for the plating algorithm. We had some issues with plating:
1. The initial surface vastly influences the result surface.
2. The internal parts of the result surface can act rather funky
3. The result surface can behave very badly outside the control curves. This can result huge performance issues in boolean operations and in filleting. Quite often the fillet algorithm stuck in the surface intersection calculation due to the low quality of the outer parts of the plate surface.
4. The iterative method that is used to calculate the result surface can be really slow
Now we are working on an implementation of an N-sided surface based on the work of Varady (http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2046895). This lets us creating G1 continous surfaces from boundary curves, that most likely could be used quite often as an alternative for plating, for example in the fillet algorithm.
If we manage to create a robust implementation for this algorithm we will submit it to OCCT, and it could significantly improve many algorithms.
Such surface representations are defined over non-rectangular domains and this means that they can not be introduced as a new surface type in OCCT, and have to be approximated with splines. This means that in the outer domains one have to figure out something to make these patches behave nicely. Currently we are using multiple patches in the outer boundaries to solve this issue, and it works rather well, however it would be nicer if we could simply approximate simply the inner parts and ignore the outer parts. Is there any solution in OCCT for approximating non-rectangular domains? Like in this paper: http://www.infogoaround.org/JBook/LeastSquaresApprx.pdf it is possible to create "weak" control points, that won't participate in the approximation, and this let's the user to only partially define the approximated domains.