I'm currently researching how to compute geometric properties of architectural shapes based on their 3D meshes, and am stuck for some time on the area and perimeter calculations.
First, the area: assuming that I have the proportions set right, if, for example, I have a wall with 3 meters of height, 7.8 meters of width and 0.290 meters of thickness I'm interested in the result of height * width
(3 * 7.8), which would give me 23.4 meters in this case. My idea is to obtain a 2D projection of this 3D mesh onto a plane parallel to it, calculate the surface area of each triangle and sum them up, what I believe would give me the mesh area independent of it's shape, assuming that it is planar. The problem is, how exactly can I obtain this triangulated projection? I believe that if the mesh is aligned to the world axis it would simply be a matter of ignoring one of them, but unfortunatelly this is an assumption that can't be made, as there will be meshes rotated in relation to one or more axis, and just ignoring an axis would distort the projection. Aditionaly, is there any method that would work even in the case of a non-planar mesh?
Now, for the perimeter: having the area problem solved, is there any robust algorithm that would give me the contours of this 2D triangulated projection, and that would work with both convex and concave meshes? I believe that with this it would be a matter of simply adding up all the edges of the contour.