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Use of an Affordable High Speed Video Camera for Visualization in Mechanical Engineering Courses

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Laboratory Innovations

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1289.1 - 23.1289.22



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Paper Authors


John R. Baker University of Kentucky

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John R. Baker is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky Extended Campus Program in Paducah, KY. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. After obtaining his B.S., he spent three years working in the Plastics Division of Eastman Chemical Products, Inc. He entered his current position in July 2000.

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Vincent Capece University of Kentucky

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Vincent R. Capece is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Capece received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1980, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1982, and Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1987.

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Use of an Affordable High Speed Video Camera for Visualization in Mechanical Engineering CoursesMethods for providing visualization of various phenomena in engineering courses can bebeneficial to student learning. Animations created using software can provide students anexcellent visual learning experience in some cases. Another approach is to produce slow-motionvideo recordings of actual high speed physical events. However, professional-level high speedvideo equipment can cost thousands of dollars. Due to budgetary constraints, expensive high-speed video equipment is not affordable for many academic programs. This paper describes useof an affordable "off the shelf" camera that can record video at up to 1000 frames per second toassist in the teaching of a mechanical vibrations course, a controls course, and a fluid mechanicscourse in a mechanical engineering curriculum. Examples used in these classes are overviewed,and lessons learned are discussed. In some cases, the slow motion video is used in conjunctionwith computer-based animations from a finite element analysis program, providing the studentswith an additional visual aid and also providing some validation for the students that results fromthe finite element analysis software are valid. The pros and cons of various camera settings, andalso some limitations of this low-cost alternative, are also discussed.

Baker, J. R., & Capece, V. (2013, June), Use of an Affordable High Speed Video Camera for Visualization in Mechanical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22674

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