Thu, 04 May 2023

3D Computer Graphics For Explaining Mechanical Principles

Anyone who's seen a bike has seen its hub and drive axle, but how does it work? On the surface it's obvious, the rider drives the pedals with their legs, the chain transfers the power to the rear wheel, and the turning of the rear wheel results in forward momentum. That seems straightforward enough, but what's actually going on inside the hub? What happens when the rider freewheels? What stresses are placed on the axel when the rider goes off the beaten track?

We worked with KOM to produce a 3D animation for their new Xeno Hub with Infinity Drive. The benefit of using a 3D model over ordinary video is that it allowed us focus in on tiny details, demonstrate the internal mechanisms at play and all the while keep things moving in ways which would be difficult or in fact impossible in reality.

3D computer graphics are an excellent tool for visualising, explaining, and understanding complex mechanical principles for several reasons:

  1. Visual Clarity: First and foremost, 3D computer graphics provide a clear and concise representation of mechanical principles, which might be challenging to convey through text or 2D graphics. With 3D graphics, the viewer can see the object from any angle, at any scale, and animations can be used to demonstrate the mechanical principle in action. Exploded views and cutaways can be employed to showcase internal components which would otherwise be impractical or impossible to view in the real world.
  2. Interactive Experience: 3D computer graphics can allow for an interactive experience, where the viewer can manipulate the object or system and observe how the mechanical principle works in real-time. This level of interactivity provides a deeper understanding of the mechanical principle and its application. Interactivity is a powerful tool when utilised for digital instruction manuals, e-learning and exhibition kiosks.
  3. Reproducibility: With 3D computer graphics, the same demonstration of a mechanical principle can be reproduced multiple times with consistency, making it an ideal tool for teaching and training. This reproducibility allows students to review and study the material at their own pace, which is not always possible with physical demonstrations.
  4. Cost-Effective: Creating 3D computer graphics is cost-effective compared to physical demonstrations or prototypes. With 3D graphics, complex mechanical principles can be visualised and demonstrated without the need for expensive equipment, materials, or personnel.

Overall, 3D computer graphics are an excellent tool for explaining complex mechanical principles because of their visual clarity, interactivity, reproducibility, and cost-effectiveness.


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