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Introduction In the not so distant past all mechanical drawings and blueprints were created by hand Models of the parts were then made also by hand Mistakes could cost a great deal of time and money Then the design world was revolutionized by computer aided drafting This new tool along with the addition of rapid prototyping has saved industry a countless amount of hours and money As efficient as the part modeling systems of today are a new tool is developing that may once again change the part modeling process for good Virtual reality systems can allow a person to walk through a new building or examine a new part before a mock up or model is ever made allowing changes to be implemented before anything is ever built Although only considered to be in its infancy stages virtual reality will soon become an integral part of the design process Virtual Reality Background The term virtual reality describes a computer program that stimulates some or all of the five senses in order to create an illusion of being somewhere or doing something Bates 53 It can consist of programs that allow the user to fly through a design or it can be a room complete with three dimensional graphics sound and the sense of touch In the world of virtual reality there are six degrees-of- freedom or in other words six different types of movement In addition to the normal updown and leftright movements the user can also pitch up or down angle left or right move forward or backward and rotate left or right A normal drawing from CAD can become a virtual environment that can almost be percepted as
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