Fibre path viewing enables the user to see the fibre on the surface of the component, from any direction he desires, and permits the use to zoom in on an area of interest and pan or move the view point along the fibre. The fibre path and mandrel-viewing menu is reached, by selecting VIEWS option at the fibre path creation menu. or from the view payout path menu. The options are selection on an easy to use windows dialog box and are described as follows:
OK Returns to the previous menu and redraws
DRAW Refreshes the screen with the latest draw options and remains in the views dialog
X-Y View This is the default view and the user sees a side profile of the mandrel looking normal to the mandrel X-Y plane.
X-Z View This is a side profile of the mandrel looking normal to the mandrel X-Z plane.
-X END This is an Y-Z view looking onto the x- end of the mandrel.
+X END This is an Y-Z view looking onto the x+ end of the mandrel.
ISO View This gives a mandrel isometric view with the mandrel axis running across the screen from bottom left to top right.
USER This permits the user to define a view direction. The system requests 3 angles to be entered (in degrees), these being the rotation of the component about its axes. The first value prompted for, is the component's rotation about the X-axis. The second value requested is the rotation of the component about its new Y-axis (this being modified due to its rotation about X). The final value requested is the required rotation about its new Z-axis. This again being modified from its original orientation by a rotation about X, and a secondary rotation about its new Y.
Zoom Window This allows the user to zoom in on a particular area of interest and is particularly useful with long thin mandrels as it can be difficult to see details clearly when the mandrel is fitted to the full screen. On selecting ZOOM the user must use the MOUSE to define the area of the current view that is to be fitted to the screen. The user is prompted to select two cursor positions, after entering the first point a 'rubber band' box is drawn from this location to the current cursor position indicating the area that will be selected when the second cursor position is selected. If one or both sides of the box have zero side length the zoom area will not be selected. Having successfully picked two points the software will redraw the current image, fitting the selected area to the screen.
Note that if the user picks a zoom area with no fibre or mandrel in it then the screen will be empty after redrawing! The ZOOM is reset to full screen whenever a view is selected as the VIEWS menu.
Zoom Factor Zooms based on current view centre, i.e. 0.5 halves the scale (i.e. display is smaller) and 2.0 would double the view scale.
Zoom ALL This resets the zoom to full screen.
Pan in View This allows the user to move the view position (move the mandrel across the screen) and can be useful in conjunction with the ZOOM facility. The user is requested to enter two cursor positions. The direction from point one to point two is the direction in which view point (eye) moves and the distance moved is the distance between the points. The pan view port is reset when a new view is selected.
Shade None switches back to normal display options, i.e. all shading is switched off.
Mark Nodes is principally of use for non-axisymmetric application. When selected the use is asked for a node number (from the mesh database). If this node does not exist the system will beep. If it does exist a marker will be placed at its location on the screen
Normal Vectors when this option is selected the element normal are displayed with a line from the centre of the patch that is normal to the patch surface. The outer end is marked with a marker. The markers will be re-displayed even if the view changes. If this option is selected again the feature will be switched off.
Shade Linear this selects one of the advanced 3D solid rendering display options. In this mode all solid objects such as the mandrel and any payout head block definition will be rendered in a pre-set colour palette to reflect a light source which is behind the view point of the user. A true hidden detail image is created using Z buffering techniques. These images can be captured as Windows bitmap files using the VIEWS-OUTPUT option. Such images can then be read into presentation packages such as Corel-Draw and Microsoft PowerPoint to produce high quality report and presentation materials.
For a payout path in conjunction with the fibre dispensing head block definitions (see PAYOUT VIEWING) the user can step through a winding program looking at a realistic 3D solid model and can easily visually assess the winding program, and if there are any problems with machine/mandrel contact. This essential for non-axisymmetric geometries and multi-axis winding-machines, as the interaction of the machine and mandrel is very complex. The only alternative is to test the program on the winding machine losing valuable production time.
This options renders the objects based on the normal direction of the surface patches. I.e. the shade is constant over the patch. This gives the mandrel a faceted appearance that is more pronounced if the mesh is course.
Shade Bi-linear This option is similar to shade-linear except that the light (shade) intensity is calculated at each node or vertex on the patches and t he shading is bi-linearly interpolated over the patch. On curved surfaces this gives a much more realistic image even if the mesh is very course. The rendering process is slower. If there are sharp discontinuities in curvature on the mandrel this shading options is give a slight localised anomaly in such locations. In this instance the shade-linear option (perhaps with a denser mesh) may be a better options.
Cull Patches This switches surface culling on or off. Culling is the automatic removal (for display) of all patches whose normal direction is away from the view direction. Can be useful for non-axisymmetric and RTM work.
Edges ON/OFF Used with shading to draw the patch edges.
Fill Times Used in RTM work the fill time at nodes can be interrogated by clicking on them.
Property Display Shades patches according to the current property index (non-axisymmetric and RTM work only).
Zbuf Invert Used in shading the Zbuffer can be inverted such that objects to the rear of the view come to the front and visa-versa (non-axisymmetric and RTM work only).