Through the course of this project, we worked with our submarine AutoCAD model, seeing what worked and what did not work in the CAVE. This page will show you some of our design process, with the corresponding results in the CAVE. Some problems could be resolved and/or worked around, other problems could not. These are not all of our files, but only the more important and explanatory ones.
For our initial design, we used SOLREV to create the hull of the submarine. Since the
hull is elliptical, we made a curve and used SOLREV to revolve it around the hull's center
axis to create the surface. As Picture 1 and 2 show, using SOLREV requires AME 2.1 to render
correctly. As we stated in the Guidelines section,
this does not translate into the CAVE (shown in Picture 3).
The dome shown in the design was a pre-defined solid, and did not have a problem being modeled in the CAVE. Its color was also set using a standard AutoCAD color, and looked similar in the CAVE.
Because the hull would not translate into the CAVE, we had to find a different way to create the hull surface in AutoCAD. We tried several different methods, one example shown in Design #2.
We used TABSURF to create the hull surface for Design 2. Although the surface does appear now, contrary to Design 1, "ribs" appear near the center of the submarine. We think this was attributed to the default values of SURFTAB1 and SURFTAB2. We think the default values of these variables, which define the surface mesh, were inadequate to render the hull surface. Playing with the two mesh variables can result in varying outcomes. However, we could not resolve the problem of the "ribs" using TABSURF.
We expanded our model in Design 3 to include a simple propeller hub and propellers. For this
design, we used SOLMESH to generate the hull surface. As we stated in the
guidelines, SOLMESH worked perfectly and
appeared to be the ideal choice of making solids translate to the CAVE. The hull surface
is smooth and has no abnormalities. Again, the solid dome/nose was a pre-defined dome in
AutoCAD and translated fine in the CAVE.
We wanted to have a clear/transparent dome, and cut windows out of the submarine's hull. We
also wanted to incorporate our ESM Senior Project Design (a Variable-Pitch Propeller System
for the Phantom II) into the submarine model.
As stated in the guidelines, we used INSRTSOL to insert our Senior Design .DWG AutoCAD drawing into the Data Visualization submarine-hull .DWG AutoCAD drawing. After inserting the Senior Design drawing, we used SOLMESH to modify the new propeller system.
AutoCAD does not have a transparent color, so anything that is "transparent" has to be cut-out or removed from the drawing. For this reason, we do not have windows on our submarine. Our hull surface is not a total solid (the ends are open), and simple AutoCAD functions could not cut out the windows we wanted. To cheat a little, and get around this problem for the nose, we made a wire-frame dome/nose. That way you can tell the shape of the dome, but still see through like the real submarine's navigator would. This may be hard to tell from the picture shown, as the viewpoint was chosen to illustrate our Senior Design propeller system.
To make our design as clear as possible we color-coded our propeller system. This helps distinguish between the components involved, and is easier to understand. A blown-up picture our propeller system is shown below.