Traditionally, continuous deformable models are represented using control points that are arranged in a grid format. The interaction properties between these points are controlled via a series of interconnections that are used in physically based modeling to represent environmental effects within a simulation. These effects vary from the transfer of forces from one control point (or node) to its neighboring nodes, through to representing real-world forces such as friction and energy damping that affect any object placed in an uncontrolled environment. This paper presents a real-time, computationally inexpensive environment for accurate simulations of sheet materials on a personal computer. The approach described differs from other techniques through its novel use of multilayer sheet structures. The ultimate aim is to incorporate into the environment the capacity to simulate a range of temperatures. A pseudo-immersive “window on world” (WoW) environment is used to handle the implementation of the real-time, aesthetically accurate deformation algorithm (MaSSE-Mass-Spring Simulation Engine). The motion of the sheet is controlled by simulated gravity and through its interaction with a mouse-pointing device. In addition, the mouse may be used to manipulate the sheet. An obvious application of the environment is centered on mechanical engineering-based real-time simulations of heat-sensitive sheet materials. This would allow for a wide range of applications in virtual manufacturing.

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