Applying Virtual Reality Techniques to Sensitivity-Based Structural Shape Design

[+] Author and Article Information
T. P. Yeh

Engineering Animation, Inc., ISU Research Park, 2321 North Loop Drive, Ames, IA 50010

J. M. Vance

Iowa Center for Emerging Manufacturing Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011

J. Mech. Des 120(4), 612-619 (Dec 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829323 History: Received June 01, 1997; Revised August 01, 1998; Online December 11, 2007


Virtual reality (VR) provides a design space consisting of three-dimensional computer images where participants can interact with these images using natural human motions in real time. In the field of engineering design, prototyping and design verification have provided the initial application areas for VR. The research presented in this paper takes the scenario one step further by incorporating free-form deformation techniques and sensitivity analysis into the virtual world such that the designer can easily implement analysis-based shape design of a structural system where stress considerations are important. NURBS-based free-form deformation (NFFD) methods and direct manipulation techniques are used as the interface between the VR interaction and the finite element model. Sensitivity analysis is used to allow the designer to change the design model and immediately view the effects without performing a re-analysis. An engine connecting rod is analyzed to demonstrate how virtual reality techniques can be applied to structural shape design.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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