[nSLUG] Re: Graphics library?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Feb 14 11:58:19 AST 2007

On 2/14/07, Mike <mspencer at tallships.ca> wrote:

> The goal is to visualize the behaviour of a real mechanical device
> which has (at least) three parameters or adjustable settings.  The
> real machine is known to behave poorly with improper settings but the
> only guides to correct settings are the intuition and guesswork
> deriving from experience.
> [...]
> A real machine of this type runs at between 150 and 400 RPM.  Dave
> Manzer (now deceased) did some experiments in Alberta with a strobe
> light to visualize misbehaviour.  If a computer model can be run
> visually, time can be slowed in the rendering while maintaining the
> full speed in the computation.  That should allow visual discovery of
> the parameter ranges within which the hammer behaves properly.
> A Real Engineer would probably just work it all out with calculus but
> I'm a tad weak in that domain, preferring visualization.  Hence the
> model.

Nice classroom project -- if I were you I'd work on a web page with a
good description of the problem and try to interest an engineering
prof.  When I was working on an applied math PhD I hung out with
mechanical engineers, but I've lost touch by now, although some of the
assistant profs are now famous.  Let me know if you don't get an
interest and I'll see if I can forward the problem to one of them in
the hopes that they will know someone looking for class projects.

Can you get the movie?  It sounds like the machine state is relatively
simple -- just a list of angles, so you need a set of drawings that
approximate all the states, and rules for the transitions.  These
rules would be used to pick the next drawing.  Many programs can
display a series of images and save then as a movie.

There have been physics simulators where you enter the geometry and
forcing.  The simulator produces a system of ODE's that you solve

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


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