Visualizing Electric Machines with the Sequential Wave Imprinting Machine (SWIM)

  • Steve Mann MannLab Canada
  • Danson Evan Garcia MannLab Canada
  • Phillip Do MannLab Canada
  • Derek Lam MannLab Canada
  • Pete Scourboutakos MannLab Canada


We introduce a novel method of researching, understanding, and visualizing fundamentals of electric machines through the use of augmented reality (AR). The otherwise hidden rotating electromagnetic (EM) fields inside electric motors and generators are made visible with Sequential Wave Imprinting Machines (SWIMs) ? an AR system for visualizing systems with invisible "sitting waves" (i.e. a wave that is a function of space alone). In this paper, a SWIM is a dot-bar array of lights that represents a measured electrical quantity. By attaching one or more SWIMs to the machine's rotating frame, the system reveals the electric machine's inner workings ? as subsequent cycles of a rotational electric machine are nominally identical at steady state, their electrical quantities are "sitting waves". Changes to these waves directly reflect changes in the controller and its parameters, for example, load or timing. We have shown that EM waveforms present within rotating electric machines can be observed with the naked eye and captured with long-exposure photography. Finally, we discuss the useful insights provided by AR for load analysis and motor control, using the visualized waveform patterns from a three-phase motor.
Palavras-chave: Augmented reality (AR), signal visualization, design engineering, electric machines, Sequential Wave Imprinting Machine (SWIM)
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MANN, Steve; GARCIA, Danson Evan; DO, Phillip; LAM, Derek; SCOURBOUTAKOS, Pete. Visualizing Electric Machines with the Sequential Wave Imprinting Machine (SWIM). In: SIMPÓSIO DE REALIDADE VIRTUAL E AUMENTADA (SVR), 22. , 2020, Evento Online. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2020 . p. 462-466.