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RESEARCH PAPERS

Development of a Virtual Environment for Interactive Interrogation of Computational Mixing Data

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas J. Duncan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virtual Reality Applications Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011tduncan@iastate.edu

Judy M. Vance1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virtual Reality Applications Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011jmvance@iastate.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 129(3), 361-367 (Feb 22, 2006) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2409314 History: Received January 30, 2005; Revised February 22, 2006

Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to enable visualization of complex physical phenomena in their natural spatial scales and significantly improve the product development process. Virtual environments provide a tool for users to interact with three-dimensional models using intuitive methods in their natural spatial scales. This paper presents the implementation details of a virtual environment combining surround-screen virtual reality technology and particle tracing of massless particles to explore the benefits these tools bring to engineers seeking to understand the complex fluid behavior present in mixing processes. The implementation of interaction methods, including volume data selection using a convex hull approach, cutting plane generation, and the integration of a tablet PC as a user interface, will be presented. Design and technical details involved with the interaction methods will be discussed along with the resulting interactive virtual environment.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Intermec Pen*Key 6642 tablet computer

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Figure 2

User using tablet computer to control mixing simulation in virtual environment

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Figure 3

Flowchart of determination process for whether or not a point is inside of a convex hull

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Figure 4

Convex hull. The point in the center of the image is being added. Yellow faces are visible to the point; green faces are invisible to the point (courtesy of Tim Lambent, University of New South Wales).

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Figure 5

Flowchart for adding a point to a convex hull

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Figure 6

User creating convex hull

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Figure 7

Completed convex hull in virtual environment

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Figure 8

User visualizing particles from selected volume

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Figure 9

Cutting plane placed into flow field. The cutting plane is visible on the right side of the image.

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Figure 10

Particle distribution from cutting plane

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