8 April 1983 True Three-Dimensional Display Of Computer Data
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Abstract
The display of data in three dimensions overcomes the ambiguity often found in two dimensional displays. It allows a truly objective examination of the display data while two-dimensional displays require a subjective interpretation of what might exist in the Z direction. SpaceGraph allows the display of data in a volume filling manner. The data can occupy a volume of 20 x 25 x 30 centimeters. The display volume is generated by observing the reflection of a CRT in a circular mirror. This mirror is flexed about a rubber hinge located on a concentric circle several inches from the edge. By exciting this assembly with a hi-fi woofer, the mirror is caused to vibrate and takes on concave and convex optical shapes thus varying the focal length. This varying focal length causes the image of the CRT to sweep out apparent distance in Z of about 30 centimeters. By plotting points on the CRT in X and Y, these points permit us to draw vectors which can describe a wide variety of three-dimensional objects, such as mechanical parts, molecules, mechanical subassemblies or total assemblies such as aircraft and ships. In the vector mode, SpaceGraph provides 23 meters of vectors which can appear in as many segments as required by the object being displayed. The three-dimensional display can also be used in a second mode which we will call the image mode. In this mode, X and Y are controlled to generate a raster much like one generated in a conventional home TV. While the raster is being swept, brightness is varied to provide an image in gray shades. As this process takes place, the Z is continuously swept by the mirror as in the vector mode and a volume filling image is created. This mode appears to be of particular interest to seismologists and in computer aided tomography. Other applications or views of science which appear promising for 3-D display are computer-aided design, air traffic control, ultra sound analysis and anti-submarine warfare.
© (1983) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Hank Stover, "True Three-Dimensional Display Of Computer Data", Proc. SPIE 0367, Processing and Display of Three-Dimensional Data, (8 April 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.934311; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.934311
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