Why Use VR
Known mainly in the gaming world, virtual reality is making itself more and more noticeable and useful in other applications. One application we’ve been using virtual reality for is its usefulness in the engineering world. This blog will describe some reasons to use virtual reality!
What is Virtual Reality?
Before describing why use virtual reality, we will touch on what it is exactly. Basically, it’s a 3D computer generated image that allows the user, with the help of some extra viewing equipment, the ability to interact in a more personal manner with the generated creation. This can be things such as getting a true 1:1 scale compared to the user or actually grabbing items and interacting with them.
Figure 1: Accurate Model Scale
Benefits to Using VR
At first glance, virtual reality may just seem like a gimmick and that it’s not something that should be associated with things such as engineering or architectural work. However, this is not the case as there are many things that can be done! The best part is that technology is changing every day and the advancements are only making the case to use it stronger.
One benefit being it helps to save both time and money on designs. It prevents going from the CAD phase to the prototyping phase only to realize that it didn’t come out as intended and end up with wasted money on the design. Virtual reality helps to bridge the gap between these two phases by allowing the user to get the 1:1 scale, see how components sit in the assembly, and ensure that the end design is ready to be manufactured.
Figure 2: Bridge Between CAD and Prototype
With the time in mind, virtual reality aids with communicating clear design solutions to projects. While looking at a model on a screen or on a drawing, people might see different things or not even understand what they may be looking at. Virtual reality gives everyone the same exact view. In some instances, with certain softwares, models can be marked up in a way that will aid in adjustments further down the design process.
Figure 3: Markup in Models
Another benefit comes with plant floor layouts and ensuring safety before going in and moving equipment. Rather than having to tie three people up to move equipment around only to realize that the selected location won’t work, it’s possible to have just one person using only one hand to move equipment around with virtual reality. We at Perception Engineering used this capability to help with deciding the layout of the office. We were able to grab each piece of furniture like desks and chairs and place them in a way that would satisfy both our needs and increase work efficiency.
Figure 4: Office Layout
Advancements in technology with virtual reality are changing every day. It’s a process many people are not even aware of or know little about. There is no limit to what can be done virtually. Many of the tasks done currently will be completely different whether it’s something with designing components, quoting, or even meetings. Virtual reality is aiding in connecting people around the world for a more connected future.