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Animating tab "A" into slot "B".

* improves communications accuracy

* enhances end user building experience

With the advent of computers and computer games, the scale model industry has experienced a significant drop-off of model car hobbyists in the coveted youth market. Scale Motorsport was looking for new ways to engage customers and looked to Avatech Solutions to use industry standard Autodesk Inventor to develop a prototype for a full-motion, 3D assembly instruction guide. This format could be used to help the company further penetrate the existing market by making assembly an easier task, and setting the company apart from competitors. By using the newer technology inside product offerings, Scale Motorsport anticipated attracting the large under-20 market.

"Anyone who has assembled furniture, or a bicycle, or any other multi-part object by following 2D paper-based instructions knows the frustrations that can occur," says Matthew Wells, president of Scale Motorsport. "With scale models at 1/24th the size of an original car, assembling the tiny components becomes a serious challenge. Traditional paper-based 2D drawings often do not provide enough detail, making the whole job one big headache for the hobbyist who looks to this activity as a form of relaxation and enjoyment."

Scale Motorsport turned to Avatech Solutions to develop the idea for an animated 3D assembly guide prototype. Dan Brown, mechanical applications engineer at Avatech, created all the parts and pieces for the popular Ferrari Modena 360 in 3D using Inventor. An animation sequence shows each part separately with the paints and corrected colors applied properly--a big part of ensuring that the model authentically mirrors the original car. Next, an animated assembly sequence demonstrates from different angles what the pieces look like as they fit together. All the views and drawings were output from Inventor in a format that anyone can view on a CD through a standard Web browser.

The Scale Motorsport "Up-Close and Mechanical" CDs will show hundreds of photographs of the real cars and animated assemblies of Inventor drawings pulled directly from the original engineering documents. The CDs also contain historical details and other information that hobbyists love and will include the detailed assembly instructions in 3D to help them successfully reproduce each racecar classic.

Scale Motorsport next plans development of a full-motion, animated, 3D instructional assembly that will ship with the Porsche/Martini Big Scale Transkit.

Circle 276--Autodesk, San Raphael, CA.

Circle 277--Avatech Solutions, Owings Mill, MD.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Application Xtra
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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