This is a blog entry from Epsilon Systems, a solutions provider that uses NGRAIN.

Epsilon Logo

Here at Epsilon Systems, we provide 3D modeling and instructional content to a variety of customers. We are one of several contractors working on instructional content for U.S. Government agencies.

Since we do not have access to CAD files, we hand-model the parts (unless components have already been modeled by other subcontractors working on the same prime contract) using a combination of orthographic photography and technical manual drawings (either cutaways or engineering drawings for non-sensitive items). There is a high demand from our customers for larger models (of large machinery items) containing sometimes thousands of parts. The multi-resolution capability of NGRAIN conversion allows us to focus higher resolution on the critical parts for procedure animation, while providing context for the entire assembly. Since we are not modeling to CAD level accuracy, the level of detail we use for modeling provides a balance between instructional function and manufacturer IP protection.

For content development, we focus mainly on mechanical maintenance procedures (i.e., piston replacement or drive component replacement). We have found that the internal visualization and interactivity through the task interface produces up to 25% increase in instructional efficiency, and that learners retain more of the part and mechanical information presented in the NGRAIN format. When building tasks, we strive for maximum manipulative interactivity. We have explored several options, and found that the NGRAIN solution (Producer Pro and Viewer) provide the best “bang for the buck” when exploring and mechanically interacting with complex equipment in a classroom environment.

We are exploring other ways to utilize NGRAIN models for knowledge management and access.