The first of the multi-media instructional systems is called LASIM (LAser SIMulator). It is designed to support the acquisition of basic technological knowledge about laser welding as well as some practical skills in operating laser welding equipment. As with all the systems described here, it is not intended to substitute 'real-life' learning experiences by computer simulation. Rather, the system is to serve as an additional tool, visualising effects and processes not easily to be perceived in reality. In laser welding, for example, the production process may not be visually observed from short distances for safety reasons. Thus, the simulator offers this opportunity in a safe environment. Also, mistakes - which are inevitable and necessary in learning - would cause high costs if real parts would be manufactured.
One of the basic didactic principles applied in designing LASIM was the concept of inductive learning. The user can conduct virtual experiments varying pairs of technological parameters relevant for laser welding. In each experiment, a video sequence shows how the real process would look like according to the