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Algorithms for Manufacturing Paperclips and Sheet Metal Structures

Arkin, Esther M.; Fekete, Sándor P.; Mitchell, Joseph S. B.

Preprint-Reihe des Instituts für Mathematik, Technische Universität Berlin

We study algorithmic aspects of bending wires and sheet metal into a specified structure. Problems of this type are closely related to the question of deciding whether a simple non-self-intersecting wire structure (a "carpenter's ruler") can be straightened, a problem that was open for several years and has only recently been solved in the affirmative.