Title 3DWEB BASED LEARNING AND TRAINING IN THE FIELD OF THE ENTERPISES PRODUCT LIFECYCLE
Project Number LLP-LDV/TOI/2007/IT/166
Product INTERACTIVE IMAGES IN 3D DESIGN
Title INTERACTIVE IMAGES IN 3D DESIGN
Product Type teaching material
A web-based learning and training platform (http://webd.polito.it/3dwebepl) was
constructed through a Leonardo da Vinci international project, in the field of the
Enterprise Product Lifecycle (EPL). As a multilateral project of transfer of innovation,
3DWebEPL has as main aim to transfer and to adapt the 3D innovative contents and
results from a previous Leonardo da Vinci training project called WEBD
(www.webd.etsii.upm.es). Platform is oriented to technicians, engineers or people that
work in the mechanical industrial sector with at least a high school certification and
interested to acquire new competencies and to achieve superior formal credit
certifications. The originality of project consists in the interactivity of images in 3D
design used on Internet
While unemployment rates remain stubbornly high, the European
Union suffers from what has become a chronic shortage of certain skilled
workers, in particular technicians and researchers in the mechanical engineering
and computerized mechanical design areas. These are exactly the skills needed
by European industry to speed up prototyping of new products, materials and
processes. More to the point, they are the kinds of skills European nations must
develop within the workforce to maintain a competitive posture with Asia and
the Americas in a competitive world market.
A former WEBD international pilot-project (Web based training and
learning in the field of engineering and biomedical design, WEBD) deployed
through Leonardo da Vinci frame had as main task the development of a
platform-independent prototype to describe three-dimensional interactive
Octavian Ciobanu, Stefano Tornincasa, Enrico Vezzetti and Gabriela Ciobanu
virtual worlds linked to the World Wide Web by using Web3D technologies [1,
2, 3, 4, 10].
In vocational training, 3D virtual manuals are superior as the trainee can
see tools and objects from every angle, as though they were floating around
from any perspective they choose.
The combination of multimedia and virtual reality that characterize the
WEBD program will ultimately provide a user-friendly interface to encourage
distance learning and foster new and innovative approaches to professional
training connected to Enterprise Product Lifecycle (EPL). Another area where
the training materials and methods of the WEBD project may be applied is a
virtual manual for training of office staff.
Web3D is ideal for distance education for the simple reason that it
allows trainees to study realistic images of phenomena and objects and then ask
questions to the instructor on line.
Web3D is a term meant to encompass all of the many specific technologies for displaying and representing 3D graphics on Web pages.
Web3D as a term evolved somewhat from VRML, the Virtual Reality Modeling Language, as a way of broadening the scope of technologies used for 3D on the Web. There are different technologies that make the vast variety of Web3D application areas possible. Some of them are proprietary, and some are open
2. The Description of the Web3D Solutions
The final goal of the initial WEBD project was to evaluate the possibilities that offer the Web3D technologies for Internet in the field of the training. The first technology that allowed the 3D interactive worlds visualization through Internet was the standard VRML.
In general, these technologies include several methods that optimise the mesh of the 3D models, obtaining very low rates of downloading. Also streaming and optimised textures are used. The render kernels offer a higher quality to 3D objects made with VRML.
Due to considerable improvements in 3D graphics hardware and fastevolving Internet technologies, the availability of 3D technologies for consumer platforms increases.
In selecting an appropriate technology for the 3D virtual mechanical product, the necessary requirements standards are:
1) Architecture: today all Web3D companies have adopted the same commercial solution. Typically, a player lives on a Web 3D company's server and is accessed through browser plug-ins that must be downloaded and
installed. Players work something like game engines: they put 3D objects or scenes, render the objects in real time and manage interactions.
2) Model quality: accurate representation and high-quality display are fundamental requirements to avoid misinterpretation of the CAD 3d model data.
3) Interaction: a powerful animation and interaction capabilities is a promised benefits of Web3D technology. Some technologies provide texture animators (to allow blending between material states), a simple procedural animator (to allow spins, translates, scales, etc.)
4) Compression: the increasing use of corporate intranets for access to data servers through possibly low-bandwidth communication lines has increased the need for efficient compression schemes to deal with common
types of media. The increase in the use of 3D graphics hardware and of 3D graphics multimedia data type showed the need of new optimization schemes.
Packetization and streamordering of the compressed data is an advanced solution for efficient Web delivery of 3D models.
Traditionally, applications needed to retrieve an entire data file before the user or receiving application could begin to see, access, or work with the data contained therein. This slows down work and can frustrate users.
Streaming applications partially alleviate this issue by enabling access to the data before the entire file is downloaded. In order to maximize the effectiveness of a streaming application, data must be delivered in an order dependant on the user's interaction
5) Programming interface: a developer toolkit includes a comprehensive set of tools that assist in streamlining every stage of the 3D
content deployment cycle, from the creation of optimal 3D content to viewing and interacting on-line.
6) Model creation: many of the current 3D authoring packages can already export Web-capable formats; the models are also created and automatically exported from 3D CAD software.
7) Cost: the commercial strategy is to offer the authoring tools free, and to sell the publish license.
In selecting an appropriate Web3D technology, some software characteristics can be compared and analysed
Target group technicians and researchers in the mechanical engineering and computerized mechanical design areas
Area of application
Product Languages English