Solid Geometry Problem

*Subject*: [mg2172] Solid Geometry Problem*From*: clay at phys.washington.edu*Date*: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 05:57:52 GMT*Approved*: usenet@wri.com*Distribution*: local*Newsgroups*: wri.mathgroup*Organization*: University of Washington*Sender*: daemon at wri.com ( )

I am working on a solid geometry problem that is fairly straightforward but algebraically hideous. I could write MMA code to deal with it, but I was wondering if anybody knew of any packages or shortcuts. The application deals with what is known as a "kinematic mount" for precision instrument placement in optics. The idea is this: suppose you position an object that is mounted on a tripod. If each leg is the right length and is placed right where you want it you have perfect placement. The problem is computing the error in placement if a leg is the wrong size or is placed in the wrong spot. Does anybody know of some neat tricks for doing solid geometry? That is, can MMA do the three dimensional construction without the brute force approach of exhaustive application of Pythagoras and trig? All ideas appreciated! Thanks, Keith clayka at plu.edu clay at phys.washington.edu