Virtual Reality technology has been widely applied in the background of industrial evaluation applications. However, a large majority of these applications are focusing on haptics-based assemblies which mainly deal with rigid-body dynamics. Here we concern the real-time haptic interaction with deformable mock-ups aiming at the industrial design evaluation of mechanical parts. The main challenge of this application is that a tradeoff between the deformation accuracy and the interaction performance has to be achieved. In this paper, we propose a two-stage method for a real-time deformation modelling by combining an off-line pre-computation phase and an on-line deformation interaction phase. The key contributions of this paper lie on two aspects. First, during off-line phase, we propose a mesh analysis method which allows us to pre-compute different deformation spaces by anticipating the evaluation scenarios. Moreover, a real-time switch among different deformation spaces is developed so that the on-line deformation computation can focus on degrees of freedom where necessary with respect to users’ interactions. Second, during on-line phase, we apply a division scheme to divide the deformation process into two separate modules which are implemented on different threads to ensure the haptic interaction performance. Experiments are carried out based on a prototype implementation concerning different models of growing complexity. The deformation accuracy and the real-time performance are discussed.

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