Virtual Assembly Design Environment (VADE)

The Virtual Assembly Design Environment (VADE) is a Virtual Reality (VR) based engineering application which allows engineers to plan, analyze, and evaluate the assembly of mechanical systems.  This system focuses on utilizing an immersive virtual environment tightly coupled with commercial Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems.

VADE has been designed and implemented at Washington State University in collaboration with NIST. The overall system concept is illustrated in Figure 1. Once the engineer designs the mechanical system using a parametric CAD system (e.g., Pro/Engineer), VADE automatically exports the necessary data to the virtual environment through a user selected option in the CAD system.

In the virtual environment, the user is presented with an assembly scene. The various parts are initially located where they would be in the real assembly plant. The VR user can then perform the assembly interactively. This enables the user to make decisions, make design changes, and perform a host of other engineering tasks in the virtual environment. During this process, the virtual environment maintains a link with the CAD system and uses the capabilities of the CAD system wherever required . At the end of the VADE session, the user would have generated valued design information which is then automatically made available to the designer in the CAD system.

VADE has been created to be capable of supporting a variety of VR peripheral devices.  The test cases at Washington State University used an implementation with an SGIOnyx2 processor with 6 processors and two Infinite Reality pipes, Flock of Birds, Cyberglove, and a VR4 head mounted display.  Valuable collaborative work was performed with an implementation at NIST that used an ImmersaDesk.

Featured Publication

VRCIM-1999-01: Jayaram, S., Jayaram, U., Wang, Y., Lyons, K., and Hart, P., 1999, "VADE: A Virtual Assembly Design Environment," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 19(6) November, pp. 44-50. ( Full Text ) 

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