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Email Address


Rajan Bhatt

M.S. (Thesis) Student, SUNY Buffalo



Chin-Pei Tang

M.S. (Thesis) Student, SUNY Buffalo



Leng-Feng Lee

B.S. Student, SUNY Buffalo



Venkat Krovi



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Project Description


Currently, considerable numbers of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and technology tools are commercially available to support simulation-based design-refinement of mechanical systems. Many of these tools not only allow a user to geometrically model mechanical devices in a 3D virtual environment, but also permit the simulation and testing of product functionality virtually.

Figure 1 compares the conventional approach with the VP approach in an engineering design process. In the conventional approach, the iterative creation and modification of a physical design prior to manufacture can be expensive and time consuming. VP approaches derive their many advantages by eliminating the need for an intermediate physical prototype for the design refinement stage. Two trends that have favored the adoption and rapid proliferation of the VP approach are:

(1)     the availability of low-cost PC based parametric simulation and analysis tools; and

(2)     the capability of integrating multiple functionalities into a unified environment.

Today, computer simulation may be used to compute and calculate the kinematic, dynamic and FEA-based responses of prototype completely within the computer and the result can be visualized within a 3D interactive graphical virtual environment.  Further, the ubiquitous availability of low-cost personal computer processor with accelerated graphics hardware coupled with the ease of availability of the tools for such platform has set the stage for this new phase in engineering, enabling the designer to quantitatively evaluate the performance of a proposed design completely in software.


(a) (b)

Figure 1: Comparison between (a) conventional approach and (b) VP approach in an engineering design process.

The trend of integrating different modules and packages has permitted users not only to create the geometry for the mechanical devices of interest, but also to test the product by functional simulation within the virtual environment and ultimately to iteratively refine the design based on the result of such multi-domain simulations.

While there are undoubtedly tremendous benefits to be derived in terms of enhanced productivity, there are also numerous issues. Currently, there may not be significant room in engineering curriculum to permit widespread adoption in a lecture-based classroom. Additionally, a well-structured educational course and a considerable amount of hands-on practice would be necessary for the students to effectively learn to use these tools.

 Therefore, we are developing this series of web-based self-paced VP tutorials with the target audience being the students of the course MAE 412: Machines and Mechanisms II at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The goal is to reinforce the ideas and concepts originally presented in the course by paralleling the course material with these tutorials. The overall desired outcome includes improving the overall understanding of mechanisms by the students and accelerating their learning experience without increasing the lecture hours.

·        SolidEdge acts as a tool for parametric solid modeling.

·        Dynamic Designer tests the function of mechanisms.

·        Students can visualize and test their mechanisms in unified integrated environment.

The tutorial is available at: http://www.eng.buffalo.edu/Courses/MAE412/tutorials

The outcome of the final project of MAE412: Machines & Mechanisms II in Fall 2002 is available on:



Special Activity:

Taking Virtual Prototyping to High Schools


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Related Publications

 Journals and Conferences

  Please see the Copyright Notice before downloading

Bhatt, R., Tang, C., Lee, L. and Krovi, V., “
Web-based self-paced Virtual Prototyping Tutorials DETC2003/CIE-48201, Proceedings of DETC’03 ASME 2003 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference Chicago, Illinois USA, September 2-6, 2003. [PDF]

Presentations and Poster

Bhatt, R., Tang, C. and Krovi, V.,
“Web-based self-paced Virtual Prototyping Tutorials, Presentation for ETC Open house, April 2003 [Presentation (ppt)] [Zipped Presentation].



Tang, C., and Krovi, V., Web-based self-paced Virtual Prototyping Tutorials, Poster for MAE-GSA, Buffalo NY , April 2003. [Poster (ppt)].


EDS News Conference Presentations:

Virtual Prototyping in Machines and Mechanisms Design [html presentation]

by Chin-Pei Tang, Rajan Bhatt and Venkat Krovi

A Case-Based Approach to Teach Product Design: Integrating Solid Edge and Reverse Engineering [html presentation]

by Ashwin Gurnani and Kemper Lewis

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