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Companies bring touch interaction capability to manufacturing design

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A technology partnership between Mechdyne Corporation and Haption means that users can now enjoy the benefits of haptic force feedback within a fully immersive display system for the Dassault Systemes V5 environment.

Mechdyne, an advanced data visualisation solutions integrator and maker of Conduit for V5, and Haption, a maker of haptic devices and full-body motion capture software, demonstrated this capability on a 3D ROVR display with motion tracking.

‘The combination of Mechdyne and Haption technologies allows CAD/CAM operators using Dassault’s V5 software to manoeuver and realistically feel and simulate the parts of a design in a virtual reality system such as a Powerwall or CAVE. The addition of touch will aid engineers and designers to verify designs for manufacturing or serviceability before prototypes are created,’ explained Pierre Vercruysse, vice president sales and marketing of Haption.

He continued: ‘For example, in auto design, an engineer working in an immersive setting can simulate and test how to integrate a seat into a car interior. With this new capability, a human being can actually interact with the design. Engineers perform such tasks as validating seat placement, testing ergonomics, studying comfort levels, viewing posture while in design model, and observing actual component tooling. All this occurs in real time which can also be recorded and stored in the native data structure of the V5 application.’

A haptic interface is a computer device that enables its user to interact with a software application or with a virtual object through the sense of touch. It consists of an articulated mechanical structure with motors and position sensors as well as embedded electronics. The user holds the end-point of the haptic device in his hand and can move it around, both in the real and virtual world on the computer screen. Whenever the virtual hand makes contact with a digital object, a force value is sent to the motors, which simulate the feeling of touch.