An efficient algorithm is presented to determine the blank shape necessary to manufacture a surface by press forming. The technique is independent of material properties and instead uses surface geometry and an area conservation constraint to generate a geometrically feasible blank shape. The algorithm is formulated as an approximate geometric interpretation of the reversal of the forming process. The primary applications for this technique are in preliminary surface design, assessment of manufacturability, and location of binder wrap. Since the algorithm exhibits linear time complexity, it is amenable to implementation as an interactive design aid. The algorithm is applied to two example surfaces and the results are discussed.

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