Enigma Version 12 software combines model building, animation, and engineering visualization into one concise software package. Enigma employs a versatile user interface to allow average users access to even the most complex pieces of the application. Using Enigma eliminates the need to buy and learn several software packages to create an engineering visualization. Models can be created and/or modified within Enigma down to the polygon level. Textures and materials can be applied for additional realism. Within Enigma, these models can be combined to create systems of models that have a hierarchical relationship to one another, such as a robotic arm. Then these systems can be animated within the program or controlled by an external application programming interface (API). In addition, Enigma provides the ability to use plug-ins. Plug-ins allow the user to create custom code for a specific application and access the Enigma model and system data, but still use the Enigma drawing functionality.

CAD files can be imported into Enigma and combined to create systems of computer graphics models that can be manipulated with constraints. An API is available so that an engineer can write a simulation and drive the computer graphics models with no knowledge of computer graphics. An animation editor allows an engineer to set up sequences of animations generated by simulations or by conceptual trajectories in order to record these to high-quality media for presentation.

Commercially, because it is so generic, Enigma can be used for almost any project that requires engineering visualization, model building, or animation. Models in Enigma can be exported to many other formats for use in other applications as well. Educationally, Enigma is being used to allow university students to visualize robotic algorithms in a simulation mode before using them with actual hardware.

This work was done by David Shores and Sharon P. Goza of Johnson Space Center; Cheyenne McKeegan, Rick Easley, Janet Way, and Shonn Everett of MEI Technologies; Mark Manning of PTI; and Mark Guerra, Ray Kraesig, and William Leu of Tietronix Software, Inc. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24211-1

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This article first appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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