Invented by David Anthony ZBORAY, Matthew Bennett, Matthew Wayne WALLACE, Jeremiah HENNESSEY, Yvette Christine DUDAC, Zachary Steven LENKER, Andrew Lundell, Paul DANA, Eric A. Preisz, Lincoln Global Inc
The Lincoln Global Inc invention works as followsA real-time virtual welding system includes a programmable subsystem based on a processor, a spatial tracking device that is operatively linked to the processor, at least a mock welding tool that can be spatially tracked by this spatial tracker and at least a display device that is operatively attached to the processor. The system can simulate, in virtual reality, a weld pool with real-time fluidity of molten metal and heat dissipation. The system can also import data into the virtual welding system, analyze the data and provide training.
Background for Importing external data and analyzing it using a virtual welding system
Learning how to arc-weld takes many hours of training and practice. You can learn many types of arc welds and arc processes. Students learn welding by using real welding systems and real metal pieces. This real-world training is a waste of welding resources, and can use up welding materials. Recent years, however, training with welding simulations is becoming more popular. Some welding simulations can be accessed via computers or the Internet. Currently, welding simulations are limited in the training they provide. Some welding simulations, for example, focus only on training?muscle memories?. This teaches a student welding how to position and hold a tool. Some welding simulations show visual and audio effects, but in a limited way that is often unrealistic. This does not give the student the feedback they need to make a good weld. This feedback is what directs the student in making necessary adjustments for a good welding. “Welding can be learned by watching an arc or puddle and not by muscle memory.
The comparison between the embodiments of this invention, as described in the rest of the application, with reference to the drawing, will reveal further limitations and disadvantages.
The arc welding simulator was developed on a virtual-reality welding system. It simulates a weld pool in a virtual-reality space with real time molten metal fluidity and heat absorption characteristics. The virtual reality welding system can import data and analyze it to determine a student’s progress.
According to one embodiment, a virtual-reality welding system comprises a programmable subsystem based on a processor, a spatial tracking device that is operatively coupled to the processor, at least a mock welding tool that can be spatially tracked by this spatial tracking device, and at lease one display connected to the processor. The system can simulate, in virtual reality, a molten metal puddle with real-time fluidity and heat dissipation. The system can also display the simulated puddle of weld on the display device in order to simulate a real weld. The system will evaluate the weld and display a satisfactory or defective weld based on the student’s performance. The virtual reality welding system can import external data and analyze it to determine the quality or a weld produced by a student.
One embodiment” provides a method. The method comprises importing into a virtual welding system a first set of welding parameters that represents the quality of a weld produced by a student during a real world welding activity, corresponding to a predefined welding process. The method includes comparing the second set of welding parameters, which is stored on the virtual simulator and represents the quality of a virtual welding generated by the welder in a simulation welding activity that corresponds to the defined welding procedure on the virtual welding system, with the first set, using the programmable processor subsystem on the virtual welding system. The method also includes generating a comparison score using the processor-based subsystem on the virtual reality system.
A method is provided by one embodiment. The method comprises importing into a virtual welding system a first set of measured welding parameter data generated by a welder expert using a real world welding machine during a real welding activity. The method includes storing on the virtuality welding system a second set of simulated parameters generated during a simulation welding activity that corresponds to the defined process performed by a welder student using the virtuality welding system. The method also includes calculating multiple student welding quality parameters using a processor-based programmable subsystem of a virtual reality welding system.
One embodiment” provides a method. The method comprises storing on a virtual welding system a first set of simulated parameters generated during a simulation welding activity that corresponds to a defined process performed by a welder expert using a virtual welding system. The method includes storing on the virtuality welding system a second set of simulated parameters generated during a simulated second welding activity that corresponds to the defined welding procedure as performed by a welder student using the virtuality welding system. The method also includes calculating multiple student welding quality parameters using a processor-based programmable subsystem of the virtuality welding system.
One embodiment” provides a method. The method comprises importing a model digital representative of a custom welded assembly into a virtual welding system. The method includes segmenting the digital model using a virtual reality welding subsystem with a programmable-processor-based subsystem. Each section corresponds to one type of weld in the welded assembly. The method also includes matching each of the sections of the plurality to a virtual coupon from a plurality virtual coupons modeled within the virtuality welding system, using the programmable subsystem.
The following description will help you better understand the claims and their features, as well the details of the illustrated embodiments.
The present invention includes a virtual reality (VRAW), arc-welding system that comprises a programmable subsystem with a processor, a spatial tracking device that is operatively coupled to the subsystem and at least a mock welding tool which can be spatially tracked using the spatial tracking device, as well as at least one display connected to the subsystem. The system can simulate, in virtual reality, a weld pool with real-time fluidity of molten metal and heat dissipation. The system can also display the simulated weld on the display device live. When displayed, the real-time molten-metal fluidity and heat-dissipation characteristics in the simulated weld-puddle give a real-time feedback to the user of the mock-welding tool. This feedback allows the user to make adjustments or maintain welding techniques in real-time, in response to this real-time feedback. The weld-puddle displayed is representative of the weld-puddle that will be formed in real life based on the user?s welding technique, the selected welding parameters and process, and other factors. A user can change his welding technique and determine what type of welding he is doing by viewing the puddle. The puddle’s shape is affected by the movement of the stick or gun. The term “real-time” is used in this context. Perceiving in real time and experiencing it in a simulation is the same as a user would in a welding situation. The weld puddle also responds to the physical environment, including gravity. This allows a user realistically to practice welding in different positions, including overhead welding, and at various angles of pipe welding (e.g. 1G,2G,5G,6G). The term “virtual welding” is used in this document. Refers to a virtual welded part in virtual reality. A virtual weldment is, for example, a simulated coupon that has been virtually joined as described in this document.
FIG. The system 100 provides arc welding simulation in a virtual reality environment. The system 100 comprises a programmable subsystem-based processor (PPS)110. The system 100 also includes a spatial tracking device (ST) 120 that is operatively linked to the PPS 110. The system 100 includes a physical weld user interface (WUI), which is connected to PPS 110, and a Face-mounted Display Device (FMDD), which is connected to PPS 110 as well as the ST 120. The system 100 also includes an observer device (ODD), which is operatively attached to the PPS. The system 100 includes a minimum of one mock welding tool 160 that is operatively attached to the ST 120, and the PPS 110. The system 100 also includes a T/S (table/stand) 170, and at least one welding coupons (WC)180 that can be attached to the table/stand 170. According to an alternative embodiment, a mock bottle (not shown) is provided that simulates a source shielding gas with a flow regulator.
FIG. “FIG. 1 . The WUI 130 is located on the front of the console 135. It has knobs, buttons and a joystick that allow users to select various modes and functions. The ODD 150 attaches to the top portion of console 135. The MWT 160 is resting in a holder that’s attached to a console portion on the side. The console 135 is equipped with the PPS 110, and a small portion of the ST120.
FIG. “FIG. 2 . According to an embodiment of the invention, the ODD 150 device is a LCD. There are other display devices that can be used. According to another embodiment, the ODD 150 could be a touchscreen, for example. The ODD 150 receives display and video information (e.g. SVGA format), from the PPS110.
As shown in FIG. The ODD 150 can display a first scene for the user, which includes various welding parameters, including position, tip-to-work, weld angles, travel angles, and travel speeds. These parameters can be displayed in real-time in a graphical format and used to demonstrate proper welding techniques. As shown in FIG. The ODD 150 can display simulated welding discontinuity state 152, including, for instance, incorrect weld size and placement, concave beads, excessive convexity undercut, porosity, incomplete fusion, slag inclusion, excess spatter, overfill, and meltthrough. Undercut is the result of a groove that has been melted into the base material adjacent to the weld. The weld metal does not fill the groove. The undercut is usually caused by incorrect welding angles. “Porosity” is a type of discontinuity caused by the gas being trapped during solidification. This can be caused by moving the welding arc away from the coupon.
As shown in FIG. The ODD 50 can display user selections such as menus, actions, visual clues, new coupons, and end passes. These user selections can be accessed by pressing the buttons on console 135. The displayed characteristics may change as a user selects various options, such as via the touchscreen on the ODD 150, or the physical WUI. This can provide the user with selected information, and/or other options. The ODD 150 can also display the view as seen by a welding wearing the FMDD 140, either at the same angle or from different angles. This may be chosen by the instructor. For various training purposes, the ODD 150 can be viewed by both an instructor and/or student. The view can be rotated to allow an instructor to inspect the weld. According to an alternative embodiment of the invention, video from system 100 can be sent via the Internet, for example, to a remote site for viewing and/or critique. Audio can also be provided to allow real-time communication between the student and the remote instructor.
FIG. “FIG. The physical welding user interface 130 is shown in Figure 2. The WUI 130 has a set buttons 131 that correspond to the selections made by the user 153 on the ODD. The buttons 131 have been colored to match the ODD’s 150 user selections. The PPS 110 receives a signal when one of the buttons is pressed. This activates the function corresponding to that button. The WUI 130 includes a joystick that can be used by the user to select different parameters and selections on the ODD150. The WUI 130 also includes dials or knobs 133 and 134 to adjust wire feed speed/amps. The WUI 130 includes a dial 136 that allows the user to select an arc-welding process. According to an embodiment of the invention, there are three arc-welding processes that can be selected, including flux-cored arc-welding (FCAW), including gas-shielded or self-shielded welding; gas metal-arc-welding (GMAW), including short-arc, axial-spray, STT and pulse; and gas tungsten-arc-welding (GTAW), including E6010 electrodes and E7010. The WUI 130 also includes a dial 137 that allows the user to select a welding polarity. According to an embodiment of the invention, there are three welding polarities that can be selected: alternating currents (AC), direct currents (DC+) and negative currents (DC ?).
FIG. “FIG. 1 . The MWT of FIG. The MWT 160 of FIG. The MWD 160 trigger is used to send a signal to PPS 110 in order to activate the selected simulated welding procedure. The tactilely resistant tip 163 of the simulated stick electrode is used to simulate resistance feedback, such as that experienced during a root pass procedure when pipe welding in reality or when welding a sheet. The user can feel the lower resistance if they move the simulated stick 162 out of the root. This feedback is used to adjust or maintain the current welding procedure.
It’s envisaged that the stick-welding tool could incorporate an actuator (not shown) that removes the simulated electrode 162 from the virtual process. As a user performs virtual welding, the distance between the holder 161 to the tip of simulated stick 162 is decreased to simulate electrode consumption. The consumption rate is a measure of how much electrode you are using. The PPS 110, and in particular coded instructions that are executed by it, can control the withdrawal of the stick electrode 164. The user’s technique may affect the simulated consumption rate. “It is important to note that the system 100 allows virtual welding using different types of electrodes. The consumption rate of the stick 162 or the reduction in its size may vary depending on the welding procedure and/or the setup of the 100.
According to other embodiments, “other mock welding tools” are also possible, such as a MWD which simulates a semi-automatic hand-held welding gun with a wire electrode being fed through it, for example. In accordance with certain embodiments, a real tool can be used for the MWT160 to simulate a more realistic feel in the hands of the user, even though the system 100 does not use the tool to create an actual arc. A simulated grinder tool can also be provided for use in the simulated mode of simulator 100. A simulated tool for a simulator 100’s simulated-cutting mode may also be provided. A simulated gas-tungsten-arc welding (GTAW), torch, or filler material can also be used in the simulator.
FIG. “FIG. 1 . The T/S 170 consists of an adjustable table 171, an adjustable stand or base 172, an adjustable arm 173, a vertical post 174, and an adjustable arm 173. Vertical post 174 is used to attach the table 171, stand 172 and arm 173. Table 171 and arm 173 can be manually rotated and adjusted up, down, or in any direction with respect to vertical post 174. The arm 173 can be used to hold welding coupons, such as welding coupon 175. A user may also rest their arm on the table when they are training. The vertical post 174 has been indexed to show the exact position of the table 171 and arm 173 on the post 174. The WUI 130 or the ODD150 can be used to enter this vertical position information into the system.
According to an alternative embodiment, the PSS 110 can automatically set the positions of table 171 or the arm 173 via preprogrammed setting, and/or via the WUI 130, and/or ODD 150, as instructed by a user. In this alternative embodiment, T/S 170 may include motors or servo mechanisms, and the PPS 110 sends signals to activate them. According to a second alternative embodiment, the system 100 detects the position of the table 171 as well as the arm 173 along with the type of coupon. This eliminates the need for the user to manually enter the information on the user interface. In an alternative embodiment, T/S 170 comprises position and direction detectors, which send signal commands to PPS 110 in order to provide the position and direction information. The WC 175 also includes position detecting sensor (e.g. coiled sensors to detect magnetic fields). According to an embodiment of the invention, a user can see the T/S 170 change on the ODD 150 when the adjustment parameters are altered.
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