Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering


Human Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Eliot Winer


As markets demand engineered products faster, waiting on the cyclical design processes of the past is not an option. Instead, industry is turning to concurrent design and interdisciplinary teams. When these teams collaborate, engineering CAD tools play a vital role in conceptualizing and validating designs. These tools require significant user investment to master, due to challenging interfaces and an overabundance of features. These challenges often prohibit team members from using these tools for exploring designs. This work presents a method allowing users to interact with a design using intuitive gestures and head tracking, all while keeping the model in a CAD format. Specifically, Siemens' Teamcenter® Lifecycle Visualization Mockup (Mockup) was used to display design geometry while modifications were made through a set of gestures captured by a Microsoft KinectTM in real time. This proof of concept program allowed a user to rotate the scene, activate Mockup's immersive menu, move the immersive wand, and manipulate the view based on head position.

This work also evaluates gesture usability and task completion time for this proof of concept system. A cognitive model evaluation method was used to evaluate the premise that gesture-based user interfaces are easier to use and learn with regards to time than a traditional mouse and keyboard interface. Using a cognitive model analysis tool allowed the rapid testing of interaction concepts without the significant overhead of user studies and full development cycles. The analysis demonstrated that using the KinectTM is a feasible interaction mode for CAD/CAE programs. In addition, the analysis pointed out limitations in the gesture interfaces ability to compete time wise with easily accessible customizable menu options.


Copyright Owner

Anastacia Maria MacAllister



File Format


File Size

88 pages