University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

Engineering Visualization Laboratory



Contact: Thomas R. Chase
ME 305
Phone: (612) 625-0308


Engineering Visualization Laboratory
ME 10A
Phone: (612) 625-9881

Laboratory Facilities
The Engineering Visualization Laboratory provides computer support for research and instruction in areas where computer-based visualization methodologies can be effectively used to enhance our understanding of complex systems. High-performance 3D graphics and multi-media-based tools can be used to enhance our understanding of materials processing, factory automation and robotics, and engineering design such as machine and mechanism analysis and design, thermal and energy systems, human-machine interfaces and biomechanics, and control systems.

The Engineering Visualization Laboratory is a state-of-the art facility with a variety of workstations, personal computers, and software tools. The flagship machine of the laboratory is the Onyx Reality Engine, which is capable of generating 2 million triangular mesh polygons and 320 million textured anti-aliased pixels per second. A variety of video outputs can be generated, including broadcast quality PAL and NTSC, VGA and HDTV. The machine is capable of displaying 1920 x 1152 pixels of resolution.

The hardware and software in the lab is equipped with the following (note: equipment is continually updated):

All workstations and personal computers are networked into the campus-wide Ethernet TCP/IP fiber-optic-based network. From the network, the workstations have access to other computing resources operated by Computing and Information Services (CIS) and the supercomputer facilities of the Minnesota Supercomputer Center and the Army High Performance Computing Research Center (e.g. the massively parallel CM2 and CM5 Connection Machines).

Graduate students who pay the Institute of Technology (IT) computer fee also have access to all IT Instructional Computing Laboratories. The IT lab in Mechanical Engineering Room 308 includes:

All printers and plotters in the IT Computing Facility located in ME 308 are available to users of the Engineering Visualization Lab for nominal fees regardless of whether or not the student has paid the IT Computer Fee. Other workstation facilities are located in several Mechanical Engineering laboratories.

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