Responding to the growing demand among engineers to visually
observe the dynamic behavior of the systems they're designing, The MathWorks has released Simulink 3D Animation.
The software, an upgraded version of a product formerly
known as Virtual Reality Toolbox, provides an interface between the MATLAB
environment and Simulink multidomain simulation platform and virtual reality
graphics. As a result, engineers and scientists can dynamically simulate their
mechanical products and control systems in a 3-D virtual reality environment,
giving them a more realistic view of their offering.
"Engineers are doing
more and more work virtually in terms of understanding their design, especially
when they're building control systems," says Jason Ghidella, The MathWorks'
senior team lead working with the Simulink line of products. "They're looking
to use simulation upfront to understand the behavior and to try and diagnose
any system integration issues."
Being able to visualize the behavior of a system in a 3-D
world gives engineers a better handle on possible design issues and conflicts
compared with examining mathematical equations or X, Y plots. As a result, The MathWorks competitors,
are adding similar 3-D and animation capabilities to their multi-domain
offerings. "Just looking at an X, Y plot of a response is very difficult,"
Ghidella says. "People like to look at something visual to get a better
understanding. That's what is driving the notion of needing 3-D animation
attached to simulation output."
Simulink 3D Animation offers tools for building, modifying
and viewing virtual reality worlds. Engineers can change position, rotation,
size and other properties of the objects they've created in the virtual world
as part of the exercise in observing the dynamic behavior of their systems. New
in this release is the ability to incorporate 3-D scenes with other graphics
objects, including those created in MATLAB. The software also supports the
import of VRML files created from CAD assemblies that were authored in such
tools as SolidWorks and Pro/ENGINEER.