Your Challenges with Prototyping

To place a digital 3D model in the environment in an instant, examine it together with colleagues, work on it flexibly, make changes easily, and then seamlessly release the model for production. Does this sound like science fiction that would make the design of product models like those made of clay practically unnecessary? Today, precisely that is possible.

Digitize your Design Processes

With augmented and virtual reality, you and your colleagues can display, adjust, and change 3D models in a virtual or real environment using any scale. The result is an innovative addition to existing design and Prototyping processes that allows them to become not only more efficient, but also more versatile and tangible.

In order to offer you a comprehensive look at the application, here we would like to show you:

Already convinced? In our services you will find an overview of the ways in which we can support you with your individual project!

What Do You Need to Watch for When Creating Prototypes?

Driven by an unparalleled degree of technological integration and rapid change, the complexity of our world is growing steadily. These changes can be observed in technical systems across all industries and scientific fields. Prototypes and reproductions are often used to reduce this degree of complexity again and to gain new insights into the future product. For example, such models allow us to explore shapes and geometries, test functions, collect initial customer experiences, or determine whether the product meets the desired requirements in a certain aspect.

Nevertheless, the design and production of a prototype involves a significant expenditure of time and money. The original concept has to be changed again and again, redesigned, and guided through the different phases of production development, while the costs increase and valuable time is lost.

For this reason, virtual Prototyping based on computer-aided design (CAD) is intended to help engineers and designers still be able to implement the growing requirements efficiently within their budget and with shrinking schedules. But it takes years of experience to get an adequate understanding of a three-dimensional model from a two-dimensional representation. At this point, the latest AR and VR technology offers the final component for complete, virtual, and flexible operation.

AR and VR are powerful tools for viewing and adjusting 3D objects, providing the user a realistic impression and a genuine in-depth understanding of the models.

Today, AR- and VR-supported Prototyping has already been used with great success in many areas. They include automotive engineering, aerospace technology, shipbuilding, and many kinds of production processes.

The Advantages of Using AR and VR Prototyping

  • Interdisciplinary cooperation of designers and engineers
  • Simplification of the decision processes between teams at different locations (during the design process)
  • Improved analysis of the designs
  • Greater employee safety through simulation of the production process
  • Significantly reduced expenditure of time and money compared to physical prototypes
  • Higher productivity in the design and production phases
  • Early identification of conflicts in the design
  • Improvement in the design quality
  • Optimization of the workflow
  • More transparent control of costs incurred
  • Minimization of errors (especially in aerospace)
  • Better customer experience and greater customer satisfaction

How AR and VR Prototyping Works

Structure of a Prototyping process

The basic principle of AR or VR Prototyping is that the prototype is fully or partially created virtually by AR or VR technology. At present, most industries still rely on methods using clay or polystyrene that prove to be relatively expensive and inflexible. If serious mistakes are made or major changes are decided, this often means that the entire design process has to be restarted.

A virtual model can be created in collaboration and changed as desired. Spatial anchors technology allows digital objects to be anchored in the space. In this manner, the prototypes remain in place even if the user moves or the device switches off.

As with real models, several colleagues can work together on the virtual images at the same time – regardless of location and without interfering with each other. Work on virtual prototypes functions best with both hands free, which is why the application uses smart glasses. Smartphones and tablets can also be used just to look at the models. The illustration shows an example of work on a virtual prototype.

Illustration of an example of a prototype application.
Source: Adobe Stock, zapp2photo

An optimal workflow is supported by many different functions. For example, changes can be managed in a structured way or parts of the virtual prototype can be blocked from changes. This will ensure that permanent decisions are secured and finished components can no longer be worked on. On the other hand, permitted changes or enhancements can be carried out quickly, flexibly, and to any extent without having to set up the prototype again. Older stages of the development can also be retrieved easily.

The work itself is performed by customary VR and AR tools. In this manner, the virtual objects can be manipulated as desired either by controllers or with free hands. Intuitive handling provides a seamless workflow and an ergonomic operation.

In addition, the prototype can already be tested in advance for form and functionality in virtual simulations. Initial results can be obtained from a virtual tunnel, or the mechanical and electrical functionality of assemblies can be simulated realistically by animations.

Work on a virtual prototype offers a huge degree of freedom compared to a real model.

Colors can be adjusted in an instant instead of painting the entire model. Changes can be achieved with simple and effortless gestures. Virtual simulations can show early on whether the prototype is developing in the right direction. Efficient control over fixed decisions and design solutions is easy to implement. And all that with massive cost and time savings.

Our Prototyping Services

Improve your design processes sustainably with AR and VR Prototyping

We have made it our mission to support you in your project in such a way that Prototyping with AR and VR becomes an integral part of your design processes.

  • To accomplish this, we take a gradual approach, starting with workshops in which we determine a common goal for the project and define initial requirements and the range of functions of the application. Furthermore, we discuss and analyze how to integrate the Prototyping application in your existing PLM system, so the work can flow seamlessly into the design process.
  • After we have established the basic conditions for the application, we discuss, among other things, the platforms for which the application is to be implemented, the CAD file formats to be displayed or edited, and the degree of detail in which the 3D models are to be displayed. If necessary, we conclude with a feasibility study and validate our assumptions.
  • We iteratively develop the application in close cooperation with you, integrate it step by step in your structures, and ensure that all the functionalities are ideally adapted to each other to meet the requirements of the end users.

Your direct contact

Paulo Ferreira da Silva

Consultant
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Your direct contact Paulo Ferreira da Silva Consultant