Visual simulation of Civil Engineering activities: Didactic virtual models

Sampaio,A.Z., Henriques,P.G.

Three-dimensional geometric models have been used to present architectural and engineering works, showing their final configuration. But, when the clarification of a detail or the constitution of a construction step in needed, these models are not appropriate because they do not allow the observation of the construction activity. Models that could present dynamically changes of the building geometry are a good support on education in civil engineering domain. Techniques of geometric modeling and virtual reality were used to obtain interactive models that could visually simulate the construction activity. The applications explain the construction work of a cavity wall and a bridge. These models allow the visualization of the physical progression of the work following a planned construction sequence, the observation of details of the form of every component of the works and support the study of the type and method of operation of the equipment applied in the construction. The models present distinct advantage as educational aids in first-degree courses in Civil Engineering. The use of Virtual Reality techniques in the development of educational applications brings new perspectives to the teaching of subjects related to the field of civil construction.