Towards conceptual simulations for linear elasticity analysis
Final Report Presented to Obtain the International Certificate in New Media Technology (ICPNM)
This project aims at developing a novel feature movement mechanism for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) meshes through a haptic pen (Phantom stylus) within a Virtual Reality (VR)-based environment. The tools developed in this project allow for making real-time feature movements and gesture-based manipulations on surface and volume meshes which lead to "what-if-analysis" on the fly. Focus of the work is the real-time operation in highly resources and computing intensive envision meshes. The approach here presented might enable the project to head towards conceptual simulations within the engineering domain (targeting at linear static analysis). Methodologies are presented for interactive mesh modifications within linear static problems based on tetrahedral meshes, 'on-the-fly' feature movements (such as through holes), the adaptation of the surrounding volume mesh, fast and adaptive mesh refinement techniques, quality measures to ensure the consistency and quality of the newly, 'on-the-fly' generated elements and the necessary topological operations for unstructured triangular tetrahedral mesh. Because of the interactive environment, all operations have to comply with the real-time constrain and have to be evaluated for local simplicial elements. In order to reduce the analysis and computation overhead, a new idea was introduced for local evaluations based on an integrated submodeling procedure. From global to local and coarse to fine, here additional constrains like influence and consistency on/with the overall model have to be considered. The approach take essential boundary conditions into account which constrain the isolated part of the submodel and which are derived from the global solution. Within the engineering environments, the explicit and implicit methodologies from global to locally detailed analysis (from coarse to refined results) allows the approach to head for fast preliminary design evaluations. The project has relevance for the computer graphics field because it will offer human interaction with feedbacks for real-time applications, supporting industrial applications. In the same way, the industrial companies (like aircraft and automobile manufacturers) could take benefit of the results, since it supports engineers with tools for conceptual simulations and shortening analysis cycles, reducing cost and time to market.