Responsive Workbench: Applications


Kit of parts. The kit of parts application is an architectural application in which structures are built from a collection of a small number of simple parts - for example walls, boards, windows, etc. These parts snap together in intelligent ways, allowing quick prototyping of archetechtural ideas.

Site planning. The workbench is an ideal environment for site planning. When constructing a new building, architects build scale models of the new construction as a preview of their design. These models can be time-consuming to build, and are difficult to change once complete. A virtual model derived from CAD plans for the new building can easily be displayed on the workbench, and changes as the design changes. Further, the architect can more easily investigate other aspects of the new design. For example, new materials can easily be applied to the construction to see how it looks, or lighting can be varied to see how the site looks at different times of day.

Detailed designs. When a new site is being constructed, often several contractors collaborate on various aspects of the construction. A virtual model of a piece of the design can be displayed on the workbench for the collaborators to discuss. For example, in the picture to the left, a section of a building's roof that has been interactively assembled is displayed. Users can interactively disassemble the roof to examine its various parts.


Virtual Windtunnel. In cooperation with NASA, we have ported their Virtual Windtunnel software to the workbench platform. The Virtual Windtunnel allows users to interactively explore an CFD dataset around an object using a variety of visualization tools, including particles, streamlines, and isosurfaces. NASA has a web page describing the Virtual Windtunnel in more detail.

Semiconductors. We have used the Workbench to visualize semiconductors. Pictured at the right is one cell from a static RAM Chip. Using the workbench, researchers and chip designers can examine the structure of the cell by interactively moving the layers by hand.

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Last modified: Tue 3 Dec 1996