Virtual Reality Softwares
With virtual reality technology is growing and growing, there are a wide variety of softwares that can suit a company’s specific needs. Finding the right one for the company is all up to trying different softwares to find that exact fit! At Perception Engineering, we’ve been actively testing different softwares and this blog will cover some that we’ve been using.
Although Prospect is mainly used in building industries, we have been able to test some of our large assemblies and have faced no issues. This software has been created by the IrisVR company. It has many useful features and some overall cool things you can do to manipulate imported models. There are many different pricing options starting with the Basic version for $50 per user/month up to $350 per workstation/month. With each tier, more options and functions are unlocked.
Figure 1: Prospect Interface
A few features we’ve tested have been their measuring tool, the markup tool, and the ability to section models. The measuring tool is easy to use, and it gives the distance from one surface to the next in a single button click.
Figure 2: Measuring in Prospect
With the markup tool, the user can draw directly on components to be reviewed later. They also have a camera tool to capture the markups!
Figure 3: Markup with Prospect
The last tool in this blog that we’ve enjoyed using is the live sectioning option. Any point in the model can be sectioned by just moving the controller over the area.
Figure 4: Sectioning with Prospect
We haven’t had any issues while using this software. Perception Engineering uses SolidWorks to create components and the only easy file format we can produce to load in Prospect is a .obj or .fbx file. This adds a couple of steps, but this most likely isn’t an issue for companies in the building industry that use design software like Revit or SketchUp.
For more information, visit their website: https://irisvr.com/prospect
Unreal Engine 4
Known mainly for its work in the gaming industry; Unreal Engine 4 has been a software we have been spending some time with viewing models. The company responsible for this software is Epic Games. As previously mentioned, they’re mainly known for their work in the gaming industry, but they have been making noise in the engineering world. This is a free software to download and use, but it does require an account!
One thing using this software that we liked was the ability to add simulate physics to components. Other software we’ve used, once you let go of an item, it floats in space and stays in the exact position. With Unreal Engine 4, when an item is released, it will simulate what would happen if it was held and released in the real world.
Figure 5: Physics in Unreal Engine 4
One issue that we’ve run into while using this software is the amount of work and time it takes between starting the project and the end goal as far as being able to take assemblies apart. With time, this process could be sped up, but it can be tricky starting out.
For more information, visit their website: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog
Demo3DVR for SolidWorks
Demo3DVR is the main software we’ve been using at Perception Engineering. The company who produces this software, Emulate3D, is a certified solution partner with SolidWorks. Overall, we have been very satisfied with the capabilities of the program, the speed and helpfulness of their customer support, and changes they’ve been making with the software. One aspect we like specifically about this software is its integration with SolidWorks. it is an add-in to SolidWorks so loading files into virtual reality is a click away. Per license, Demo3DVR for SolidWorks is a one-time fee of $995.
Figure 6: Emulate3D Logo
Once in the software, there is a wide variety of things the user can do with the software. One item is being able to take assemblies apart piece by piece to see all the components that make it up. This has been useful for checking for interferences, ensuring correct component sizes, and checking for correct component locations.
Figure 7: Warehouse Machine Clearance
They also have a mobile app for viewing files either with a mobile headset, Google Cardboard, etc., or models can be viewed and spun around by hand. This can also be viewed on tablets and downloaded from either the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store. It’s a free app that doesn’t require an account to view files.
For more information, visit their website: https://www.demo3d.com/demo3dvr-solidworks/
In conclusion, there are many virtual reality softwares in the world today. It’s all about finding which one(s) will fit the companies needs and meet their requirements. It may be a trial and error process at first, but with time the most fitting software will be found based on the needs of the company!