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FEMvis: An interactive visualization tool for mechanical analysis

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1 Author(s)
Bala, G.P. ; IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center. 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120, USA

Increasing competitiveness in the development and manufacturing of mechanically based products requires ever-increasing design and development cycles, and has stimulated the introduction of many computer-based tools to assist with mechanical design and analysis. Currently, strong emphasis is placed upon the effectiveness of such tools, and on their enhancement through improved usability. A major contribution to improved usability is the level of interactiveness of a tool. FEMvis is a tool that provides capabilities for interactive visualization of mechanical engineering analysis, including rotation, translation, and magnification of images; views of shape deformations, their time-evolution, and their superposition; visualizations of scalar fields in two and three dimensions using colored isolevels; blending of shape deformation images and isolevel images; visualizations of three-dimensional phenomena by moving a slicing plane through the image, showing cross-sectional deformations and isolevels; and visualizations of multiple shape deformations and multiple scalar fields during a single usage session. FEMvis has been implemented in a portable language and a portable graphics package, and can run on a spectrum of hardware platforms from workstations to mainframes. It has been applied to the mechanical analysis of direct-access storage devices (DASD), including stress, strain, modal, and deformation analyses. The interactive nature of FEMvis facilitates iterative design refinement and rapid prototyping.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 1.2 )