RuleBear is a plugin for Google SketchUp, which allows a user to create and use rules in the placement of 3D Lego objects.
SketchUp is a Google-developed comprehensive modeling CAD tool, specializing in 3-D design. However,
when it comes to connecting objects, SketchUp can be unnecessarily complicated.
In order to connect objects in SketchUp, the user must first design the object, and then creating a "connection" between objects could involve anything from coordinate matching the connectors to manually attempting to place objects together, which can lead to imprecision.
RuleBear is designed for modeling scenarios involving fitting pieces together using established connections and placement rules.
The RuleBear plugin is designed to provide the user with predefined "parts," which will be ready to use and "plug" into other parts.
Although the RuleBear project currently only utilizes Lego-like objects, the goal for this project is for many kinds of practical-use parts to be easily assembled. Rulebear is currently being designed for flexibility, so that in the future other objects may be easily added, and once their connectors are defined, users may develop connection rules through RuleBear.
The RuleBear project is being developed on behalf of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at University of Idaho,
under the oversight of Dr. Jay McCormack.
Advisor for the RuleBear project is Prof. Bruce Bolden.