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Intelligent Engineering Systems Through Artificial Neural Networks, Volume 17

C. H. Dagli
C. H. Dagli
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Conceptual mechanical design requires geometric modeling tools that enhance user creativity by minimizing the need to follow precise formulas, rigorous procedures and rigid technical specifications. A mathematical representation of deformable solid objects that exhibit “realistic” elastic and plastic material behaviour with minimal details in a virtual reality (VR) environment is described in this paper. The physics-based deformation model consists of a set of point masses, connected through a series of springs and dampers, which undergo movement through the influence of external and internal forces. The location of each mass point corresponds to a node on a 3D mesh defined by the lattice of a volumetric self-organizing feature map (VSOFM). Material properties are introduced to the mesh by assigning a mass value to individual nodes and spring coefficients to the nodal connections. Once reshaped through external influences or haptic interactions, the mesh created by the VSOFM can be interactively modified during the conceptual design process undertaken in a VR environment.

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