In the area of engineering, proper visualisation is critical. Being able to transform raw numerical data into a visual form is part of the purpose of computer-aided design programs. A company called Theorem are using videogame graphics technology to create immersive environments for engineering and manufacturing applications.
Computer-aided design programs are used to generate product designs and layouts. Designs generated by CAD programs are full of information, such as dimensions, materials and tolerances, all of which are critical for designers, engineers, supply chains and manufacturers. CAD graphics are perfectly adequate, but the graphical technologies now used in videogames are now capable of displaying a far higher level of detail and realism than CAD programs can display.
As a result, Theorem have developed a system that blends CAD with videogame graphics capabilities to create immersive virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) or augmented reality (AR). This allows engineers to get a more complete picture of how a design would look and function in the real world, or review manufacturing processes before any physical production takes place, reducing the possibility of costly errors being made.
“Graphic engines used for gaming, such as Unity or Unreal, can be used to develop applications for engineering and manufacturing use cases,” observes Stuart Thurlby, CEO of Theorem, “for example, gaming engines can offer better design software capabilities, for efficient 3D real-time rendering, simulation, gesture control and virtual environments.”
Theorem Solutions have developed a range of visualisation applications using some of the most up-to-date videogame graphics engines to optimise CAD design data for use in VR, AR and MR environments, allowing companies to apply the technology to areas such as design review, prototyping, building, assembly, maintenance and training.
VRFocus will continue to report on new applications for VR and AR technology.