Collaborative visualization of engineering processes using tabletop augmented reality

Suyang Dong, Amir H. Behzadan, Feng Chen, Vineet R. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


3D computer visualization has emerged as an advanced problem-solving tool for engineering education and practice. For example in civil engineering, the integration of 3D/4D CAD models in the construction process helps to minimize the misinterpretation of the spatial, temporal, and logical aspects of construction planning information. Yet despite the advances made in visualization, the lack of collaborative problem-solving abilities leaves outstanding challenges that need to be addressed before 3D visualization can become widely accepted in the classroom and in professional practice. The ability to smoothly and naturally interact in a shared workspace characterizes a collaborative learning process. This paper introduces tabletop Augmented Reality to accommodate the need to collaboratively visualize computer-generated models. A new software program named ARVita is developed to validate this idea, where multiple users wearing Head-Mounted Displays and sitting around a table can all observe and interact with dynamic visual simulations of engineering processes. The applications of collaborative visualization using Augmented Reality are reviewed, the technical implementation is covered, and the program's underlying tracking libraries are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Engineering Software
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Collaboration
  • Planar tracking library
  • Simulation
  • Tabletop augmented reality
  • Validation
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • General Engineering


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