Simulation Motion Helps With Difficult Billiard Shots

March 30th, 2011


Several engineers here at 3DVision got together recently and played billiards.  While expressing our favor towards the game we discussed the mathematics and mechanics involved.  No matter how you look at it, Geometry and Physics rule the billiard table.

Which brings me to Simulation Motion, the attempt here is to accurately predict tough billiard shots using the Motion Analysis package.

This blog details the first attempt at Simulating a billiard shot. The model was created to gain information for future Motion Analysis; the model is comprised of a billiard table, two billiard balls, and a cue.

3DVision Billiard Table

The billiard table is a multi-body part allowing for different material properties depicting the slate bed and rubber rails.

The billiard balls are either composed of Bakelite or Aramith.  Bakelite is the custom material in billiard balls in the 1970s; its polymer blend has a wealth of material information specifically for this application.   The newest material, Aramith, has replaced Bakelite since the 1990’s.  However, there is little information on its material specs.   Looking into the playability between the two materials, credible sources say there is no difference between the billiard balls.  In this model Bakelite is the best material, and is used for the billiard balls.

The cue is Rock Maple with a rubber tip.  (Rubber is used instead of a layered cowhide tip due to lack of material specifications on leather.)

Contact conditions were specified between the table rails and the billiard balls, billiard balls and table bed, billiard ball to billiard ball, and cue ball to cue stick.

A displacement was assigned for the cue acting through 3″ of movement in 0.25 seconds.

Motion accurately simulated a basic cut shot.  This is a preliminary setup using assumed friction coefficients and material properties.  This trial run demonstrates the setup of more advanced real world billiard shots including: adding English and draw to the cue ball to allow for proper cue ball placement for subsequent shots.

YouTube Preview Image  YouTube Preview Image

 

With more realistic boundary conditions and Simulation Motion, I will attempt to simulate the tougher professional billiard shots.  As well as detect and report the stress being generated by the impact of the cue to the cue ball, and billiard ball to billiard ball collisions.  Stay tuned for more information and new shot videos.

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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2 Responses to “Simulation Motion Helps With Difficult Billiard Shots”

  1. 9 ball says:

    I welcome advancement in simulation, especially for billiards. The most accurate representation of billiards play we have is Virtual Pool 3 and that game is nearing a decade old! Hope this new simulation model gets put into use.

  2. Woody says:

    Robert, lots of billiard physics & videos here that will help you get set-up:

    http://billiards.colostate.edu/

    Dr. Dave Alciatore, PhD uses billiards to teach physics!

    http://dr-dave-billiards.com/

    Those pockets look a lot looser than my 9′ Brunswick! LoL!

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