3D Laser Simulator Supports Furniture, Accessories Manufactures

The "Laser Simulator" is a program written in Java™. It takes a gray scale image or a Coreldraw CMX file and displays it as a 3D Cameo. Features include z-scale adjustment, rotate, zoom and translate. Any graphics program such as Adobe PhotoShop, Corel PhotoPaint or Linux Gimp is used to create the gray scale image

Cmx-Viewer takes CorelDraw artwork and displays it in a tree structure (on the left). The picture is then generated from the tree.

Coreldraw CMX format is a vector representation of a 3D image. The format can be displayed as a tree stucture as shown above. The "Laser Sinulator" can take this file format and display it as a gray sacle image. The black pixels represent deep cuts and the white pixels repesent no cut depth.

Today a technology call SVGis rapidly replacing all proprietery vector formats. New directions for the "Laser Simulator" include support for this new technolgy

Three D rendering of a gray scale Coreldraw clipart using the "CMX Viewer" and the "Laser Simulator".

The program is an extension of the "Cebu C Coders Club - CMX Viewer" and takes a gray scale picture and converts the gray color to a 'z' axis or depth. Any gray scale image that has been properly prepared may be used to make a flat bottom 3D object. Laser cutting technology is now at the point that the etching laser can take a gray picture and turn it into a 3D object. This type of laser is finding many uses in the furniture and fashion manufacturing areas. A laser cut decorative peace has much more detail than a die stamped or hand carved.

The "Laser Simulator" uses the Java™ 3D runtime library to simulate a 3D engraving laser. The program uses a ordered directory tree to describe the objects in the scene. The main object is an array of points that represent the pixels of a gray scale image. The color of the pixel is converted to a depth or Z component for a 3D point (X, Y, Z). This point array object is then rendered in 3D. The original color is then reapplied to give the original appearance.

The "View" menu has options to render the 3D object in a "3D Wire Frame" or "Rendered Texture" mode. In "Rendered Texture" mode, the points or pixels are all colored the same color. The position and color of the lights give a more realistic 3D view.

Java™ scene graph view of the Landing Duck. View is used for program diagnostics only.

The scene graph view, displays the structure of the scene to be rendered. This view shows how the scene is put together and how the rendering engine is to display the objects on the display device. With the right display device, both the left and right eye are rendered in a true 3D image similar to the old time optical StereoGraph of the 1900's.

The scene graph is a tree of objects. These object or tree nodes contains physical things like lights, cameras, actors, backgrounds and stage props. Each object contains attributes like location, scale, rotation, textures and behaviors.

This scene graph view is included here to help the scene designer have a human readable text form to display what the scene will look like when it is rendered. It is meant to be a diagnostic tool and maybe removed in future versions of this program.

Laser Simulator supports multi-language, multi-locals and multi-operating systems. Shown is the "Sandstone" look and feel.

Laser Simulator is written in Java version 1.3. Java is a "Write Once - Run Anywhere" programming language that is very well adapted to the World Wide Web and doing business all over the world.

The "Laser Simulator" takes advantage of the international capabilities and speaks many languages. Locale information is built into the language to handle date and number formats for different regions. For example French in France is different than the French in Quebec Canada.

The "Themes" menu has several menu items to choose different "look and feel" themes for the way the windows look. This theme is chosen automatically when the program runs on different operating systems. The "Themes" menu here is for demonstration purposes and may not appear in future versions.

Laser Simulator help dialog contains the 3 H's; help, hints and how to's.

The help system is a windowed dialog box that is a miniature web browser. The browser has options for fully indexed page search, table of contents, index tables and printing a page or the complete document. The help system is a web page and may contain all the things that are available to an Internet web page.

The help system is an integrated part of the Java programming language and can be expanded to contain sound and movies.

The photograph below is a sample from one of the laser manufactures and show the excellent detail that a laser of this type can do. A CD full of clipart suitable for the furniture manufacturing is in the near future. The advantage of the Simulator is that new designs do not have to be cut on the machine to see how they look. A laser machine needs to be utilized to the fullest and not waste it time doing development projects.

Sample laser 3D carving in a peace of plywood.

The Application of converting gray scale pictures to 3D objects finds many uses in the making of 3D cartoon back grounds, mold making for fashion articles and decorative pieces for furniture.

The "Laser Simulator" is a tool to increase factory output from a 3D etching laser. The cost to operate a laser of this type is several thousand pesos per hour. A production laser must be kept busy doing production work and not spend its time doing prototype cutting for the design department. This simulator is meant to display the design errors before you cut the first prototype.

The "Laser Simulator" is packaged on a CD (Compact Disc) along with several examples of clipart. The clipart is manually converted to the proper gray scale, using CorelDraw. The skill level required for CorelDraw is fills and blends. No new learning is required to use the "Laser Simulator".