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We provide a completely new perspective for the analysis of Casimir forces in very general piston configurations. To this end, in order to be self-contained, we prove a "gluing formula" well known in mathematics and relate it with Casimir forces in piston configurations. At the center of our description is the Dirichlet-to-Neumann operator, which encodes all the information about those forces. As an application, the results for previously considered piston configurations are reproduced in adoi:10.3390/sym10010031 fatcat:ublat3zczzaofguhc4lp7myxwe