A device-independent graphical user interface for theoretical studies of surface temperatures generated by friction

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Virginia Tech

Computer graphics is an important tool for engineering visualization and computer aided design systems. The use of this tool to create graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for engineering applications is growing dramatically owing to the almost real-time response to creative thinking which allows engineers to quickly visualize many potential solutions to a problem. This thesis describes the creation of a GUI for a software system which is capable of predicting the surface temperatures generated at the contact between two sliding bodies. This GUI uses the ISO standard PHIGS for 3D graphics support. The use of PHIGS and the standard programming language C renders this system device-independent and hence, portable.

Although PHIGS supports the creation of graphics-based engineering applications, many basic functions required for a GUI (e.g. functions for menus, templates, etc.) need to be created from scratch. During the creation of the GUI described in this thesis, special attention was paid to functions which could be created as re-usable, high-level functions. These functions can be made available to other programmers who wish to create similar GUIs for other engineering applications. The design and creation of these high-level functions and the use of these high-level functions in the creation of the GUI for the surface temperature prediction software are described in this thesis.