Rolls-Royce Deutschland and Virtalis VR have teamed up to build a giant immersive virtual reality (VR) experience that allows users to view highly detailed CAD models of the aero engine right down to each individual screw all at a continues frame rate. This is no easy feat, as each model is several gigabytes in size and contains around 20,000 different components but thanks to Virtalis VR’s Siemens TeamCenter PLM system, the experience is made possible.
“With such complicated and detailed models, we need to not just visualise in 3D, but also enable intuitive interaction (such as dynamic sections). To achieve this, we installed a bespoke, 8.5-metre wide Virtalis ActiveCube display system, comprising three walls, not like a traditional CAVE, but splayed at 130o and a floor. This more open configuration was designed to give better communication between all VR-session attendees. We also purchased some development licences of Virtalis’ Visionary Render software. Ultimately, we expect to playback HPC-based simulation, such as CFD or FEM, in real-time in VR.” explains Prof. Dr Marius Swoboda, Head of Physical, Computational and Design Sciences at Rolls-Royce.
Virtalis VR designed the ActiveCube to make the best use of the space available to them in Rolls-Royce Deutschland’s infrastructure located in Blankenfelde, just outside of Berlin. Since the facility was commissioned, it has attracted not only internal employees but also external visitors, such as politicians, suppliers, customers and join project stakeholders.
Stephan Rogge, Rolls-Royce Deutschland’s VR Operator/Development Engineer, commented on the project saying: “We are primarily using Visionary Render and our ActiveCube to test new approaches to design and manufacture. Owing to the open architecture of our VR-System, we can visualise our digital product definition, provide interdisciplinary review sessions and check everything fits together as it should. We are also collaborating with academic partners, like BTU Cottbus, to develop new ideas to take this technology forward.”
It was after reviewing the VR visualisation software market that Rolls-Royce Deutschland, like their UK based counterparts, chose Virtalis’ Visionary Render thanks to its capabilities of loading an entire engine model without any trouble, handling the complex geometry and is a flexible development platform. “I like the way we can enrich our engine models with interactivity via the addition of LUA script”, said Rogge. “Our system in conjunction with Visionary Render is so intuitive to use, people can be up and running in just under five minutes from stand-by to a fully loaded engine. BTU Cottbus is also presenting us with even more opportunities, so that we expect to be able to merge the simulation results with our CAD geometry in real-time.”
The resulting VR experience is one that allows users to get up close with a Rolls-Royce aero engine in supreme detail while visiting the site. By leveraging the technology of Virtalis VR, Rolls-Royce have ensured a highly detailed, immersive product without having to cut back on performance, offering the best user experience. For more on Rolls-Royce and Virtalis VR in the future, keep reading VRFocus.