The MathWorks Makes Simulation a 3-D Virtual RealityThe MathWorks Makes Simulation a 3-D Virtual Reality
May 13, 2009
The software, an upgraded version of a product formerlyknown as Virtual Reality Toolbox, provides an interface between the MATLABenvironment and Simulink multidomain simulation platform and virtual realitygraphics. As a result, engineers and scientists can dynamically simulate theirmechanical products and control systems in a 3-D virtual reality environment,giving them a more realistic view of their offering.
"Engineers are doingmore and more work virtually in terms of understanding their design, especiallywhen they're building control systems," says Jason Ghidella, The MathWorks'senior team lead working with the Simulink line of products. "They're lookingto use simulation upfront to understand the behavior and to try and diagnoseany system integration issues."
Being able to visualize the behavior of a system in a 3-Dworld gives engineers a better handle on possible design issues and conflictscompared with examining mathematical equations or X, Y plots. As a result, The MathWorks competitors,including Maplesoft,are adding similar 3-D and animation capabilities to their multi-domainofferings. "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 betterunderstanding. That's what is driving the notion of needing 3-D animationattached to simulation output."
Simulink 3D Animation offers tools for building, modifyingand viewing virtual reality worlds. Engineers can change position, rotation,size and other properties of the objects they've created in the virtual worldas part of the exercise in observing the dynamic behavior of their systems. Newin this release is the ability to incorporate 3-D scenes with other graphicsobjects, including those created in MATLAB. The software also supports theimport of VRML files created from CAD assemblies that were authored in suchtools as SolidWorks and Pro/ENGINEER.
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