Illustrating how mechanical assemblies work

Niloy J. Mitra, Yongliang Yang, Dongming Yan, Wilmot Li, Maneesh Agrawala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


How-things-work visualizations use a variety of visual techniques to depict the operation of complex mechanical assemblies. We present an automated approach for generating such visualizations. Starting with a 3D CAD model of an assembly, we first infer the motions of the individual parts and the interactions across the parts based on their geometry and a few user-specified constraints. We then use this information to generate visualizations that incorporate motion arrows, frame sequences, and animation to convey the causal chain of motions and mechanical interactions across parts. We demonstrate our system on a wide variety of assemblies. © 2013 ACM 0001-0782/13/01.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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