Configuration space visualization for mechanical design

Elisha Sacks*, Leo Joskowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We are studying difficult geometric problems in computer-aided mechanical design where visualization plays a key role. The research addresses the fundamental design task of contact analysis: deriving the part contacts and the ensuing motion constraints in a mechanical system. We have automated contact analysis of general planar systems via configuration space computation. Configuration space is a geometric representation of rigid-body interaction that encodes quantitative information, such as part motion paths, and qualitative information, such as system failure modes. The configuration space dimension equals the number of degrees of freedom in the system. Three-dimensional spaces are most important, but higher-dimensions are often useful. The qualitative aspects, which relate to the topology of the configuration space, are best understood by visualization. We explain what configuration space is, how it encodes contact information, and what research challenges it poses for visualization.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1998 IEEE Visualization Conference - Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
Duration: 18 Oct 199823 Oct 1998


ConferenceProceedings of the 1998 IEEE Visualization Conference
CityResearch Triangle Park, NC, USA


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