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Paper w78_2007_3:
Virtual reality technology applied in engineering education

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A. Z. Sampaio, P. G. Henriques

Virtual reality technology applied in engineering education

Abstract: The three-dimensional geometric models used to present architectural and engineering work, show only the final form, which does not allow progress in constructions to be observed. But, the visual simulation of the construc-tion process of a building need mod-els which are able to produce dynamic changes to their geometry. This paper re-ports how techniques of geometric modelling and virtual reality were used to obtain models that could show their physical evolution over time and which would be able to simulate construction processes visually. Two types of work, concerning the construction of a cavity wall and a bridge, were developed as virtual models for educational purposes. These models make it possible to view the physical evolution of the work, to follow the planned construction sequence, to visualize details of the form of every component of each work and to support the study of the type and method of op-eration of the equip-ment necessary in the construction process. These models have been used to distinct advantage as educational aids in first-degree courses in Civil Engineering. The use of virtual reality techniques in the development of educational applications brings new perspectives to the teaching of subjects related to the field of construction.

Keywords: education, engineering, simulation, 4d models, virtual reality

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