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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Designers Workbench: Towards Real-Time Immersive Modeling

  • Author(s): Kuester, Falko
  • Duchaineau, Mark A.
  • Hamann, Bernd
  • Joy, Ken
  • Ma, Kwan-Liu
  • Editor(s): Merritt, J.O.
  • Benton, S.A.
  • Woods, A.J.
  • Bolas, M.T.
  • et al.

This paper introduces the Designers Workbench, a semi-immersive virtual environment for two-handed modeling, sculpting and analysis tasks. The paper outlines the fundamental tools, design metaphors and hardware components required for an intuitive real-time modeling system. As companies focus on streamlining productivity to cope with global competition, the migration to computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer-aided engineering (CAE), systems has established a new backbone of modern industrial product development. However, traditionally a product design frequently originates from a clay model that, after digitization, forms the basis for the numerical description of CAD primitives. The DesignersWorkbench aims at closing this technology or ''digital gap'' experienced by design and CAD engineers by transforming the classical design paradigm into its fully integrated digital and virual analog allowing collaborative development in a semi-immersive virtual environment. This project emphasizes two key components from the classical product design cycle: freeform modeling and analysis. In the freeform modeling stage, content creation in the form of two-handed sculpting of arbitrary objects using polygonal, volumetric or mathematically defined primitives is emphasized, whereas the analysis component provides the tools required for pre-and post-processing steps for finite element analysis tasks applied to the created models

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