Use of an affordable high speed video camera for visualization in mechanical engineering courses

John R. Baker, Vincent Capece

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Methods for providing visualization of various phenomena in engineering courses can be beneficial to student learning. Animations created using software can provide students an excellent visual learning experience in some cases. Another approach is to produce slow-motion video recordings of actual high speed physical events. However, professional-level high speed video 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 use of an affordable "off-the-shelf" camera that can record video at up to 1000 frames per second (fps) to assist in the teaching of a mechanical vibrations course and a fluid mechanics course in a mechanical engineering curriculum. Examples used in the vibrations and fluid mechanics classes are overviewed, and lessons learned are discussed. In some cases, the slow motion video is used in conjunction with computer-based animations from a finite element analysis program, providing the students with an additional visual aid and also providing some validation for the students that results from the finite element analysis software are valid. The pros and cons of various camera settings, and also some limitations of this low-cost alternative, are discussed. Also, some advantages of combining video from the high speed camera with video from other sources, such as video from screencasting software, are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2013
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013


Conference120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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