Illustrating How Mechanical Assemblies Work
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.