AMES, Iowa — Spray paint training and designing next-generation power plants don’t seem, at first glance, to have much to do with one another. But, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory recently partnered with the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa to improve spray paint training using a virtual engineering software toolkit. The software enhancements have recently won a regional Federal Laboratory Consortium award for applying federal developed technology to industry needs.
VirtualPaint software, developed by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, is a painting simulator designed to teach military personnel, commercial painters and other paint spray technicians the correct techniques for spray paint operations. Practicing paint skills in a virtual environment rather than a spray booth reduces hazardous air emissions, saves paint and reduces travel time for paint trainees.
IWRC staff sought to expand the capabilities of VirtualPaint and knew they needed a software solution that could handle the program’s large data models and maintain realistic real-time virtual painting simulations. Ames Laboratory’s VE-Suite, an open source virtual engineering software toolkit, fit the job.
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