Theorem Solutions Bespoke Multi-Device Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality Visualization Experience Software
Andrew Wheeler posted on November 13, 2017 | 981 views

Visualization Experience

Theorem Solutions’ Visualization Experience app for Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality is a data and device agnostic Visualization tool, part of Theorem’s ‘Digital Realities’ product family, that enables users to leverage their CAD and PLM data assets for visualization in the latest immersive, holographic and digital-twin based devices.

The potential use cases for visualization using augmented, mixed and virtual reality are enormous-the Digital Twin area of IoT, Design reviews, Manufacturing Build, Quality Control, Service applications and Training, Sales &Marketing, as well as the ability to customize the experience to fit specific use cases.

The app enables users to view, manipulate and interrogate CAD and PLM data by using touch, hand gestures and voice controls-depending on the device- with each device suiting different use cases and scenarios.

The software suite runs on Microsoft HoloLens, OculusRift, HTC Vive, Windows 10 laptops and tablets, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. The wide availability, and low price points, of these new devices is democratising the use of AR, MR and VR, enabling the use of such technologies to be integrated into everyday workflows and processes.


Visualization in engineering and manufacturing sectors

In the engineering and manufacturing sectors, there are definite similarities between the workflows of different companies. However, the specificity of what each company produces is what makes each process unique in small and sometimes large ways. In general, you have employees in office or factory environments who are generating and modifying intellectual property in the form of 3D CAD and PLM data, individually and as product design teams.

The idea behind the Visualization Experience is to create a platform that is general enough to be used by any given company in different engineering and manufacturing sectors, and customizable enough to enable efficient and robust specificity.

The Visualization Experience allows tablet and smartphone users to view meta data from external sources, MES, ERP, CRM etc.and show it next to or on top of a physical representation of 3D data, like a physical prototype for example. (Image courtesy of Theorem Solutions.)
The Visualization Experience allows tablet and smartphone users to view meta data from external sources, MES, ERP, CRM etc.and show it next to or on top of a physical representation of 3D data, like a physical prototype for example. (Image courtesy of Theorem Solutions.)
The Visualization Experience allows users to perform standard visualization actions that they are familiar with in their engineering and design software like zoom in and out, explode assemblies into sub-assemblies, break sub-assemblies into component parts and revolve around 3D data to highlight a specific component part. Users can also anchor their 3D data to physical markers when using the Visualization Experience for Augmented Reality.


Supported 3D File Formats:

  1. CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE
  2. CATIA V5
  3. CREO
  4. Inventor
  5. JT
  6. NX
  7. SolidWorks
  8. STEP

Digital Realities

Theorem Solutions calls its product family for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality markets “Digital Realities”. It is a shorthand term for VR, AR and MR.

Theorem’s Digital Realities could also be thought of as an umbrella term for their Visualization Experience software suite for HoloLens, HTC Vive,Oculus Rift, Windows tablets, Android tablets and smartphones. The application has been built using the latest graphics engines, channeling it toward engineering and manufacturing uses and away from gaming.

The point is to give a company the ability to visualize their CAD and PLM data on any supported AR, MR and VR device. By universalizing the same proprietary CAD and PLM data for visualization across this diverse array of devices, companies can seamlessly switch between devices, allowing them more freedom to choose the best device for different situations and use cases.

The mechanics of this universalization process seems simple: First, 3D data is optimized and prepared by way of Theorem’s Optimization and Experience Servers. Then the 3D data is available in the same Visualization Experience to all supported platforms and devices for purposes such as training, equipment instructions and product design reviews as well.

(Image courtesy of Theorem Solutions.)
(Image courtesy of Theorem Solutions.)

 

Potential Use Cases


  1. Assembly Process Optimization and Safety Assessment

    Theorem Solutions Visualization Experience could be used to review assembly stages of a company’s product, to help understand potential manufacturing concerns in assembly processes undertaken on the factory floor.

  2. Automotive Design Review and Visualization

    If you could display the digital data in a vehicle shell with multiple viewers, then various design decisions could be checked, approved or changed. If the overlaid digital data is accurate, then a product team could give design and manufacturing teams a more efficient way to check their designs without having to create any physical prototypes. It would be easier to see different options and concepts, making the review process faster.

  3. Validation for Service and Repairs

    The Visualization Experience enables the evaluation of the ease of servicing of a product using augmented reality. You can see the digital version in situ, not just in a classroom. It could be used for training on installation maintenance tasks, or simulating a user’s ease of access to commonly serviced parts.
If there are multiple versions of the product or subsystem they can all be validated in detail and in situ. The exploration is aided by the ability to toggle the visibility of features. (Image courtesy of Theorem Solutions.)
If there are multiple versions of the product or subsystem they can all be validated in detail and in situ. The exploration is aided by the ability to toggle the visibility of features. (Image courtesy of Theorem Solutions.)

Bottom Line

Digital Realities and Theorem’s Visualization Experience software could turn out to be a strong use case for using VR, AR, or MR in design, engineering and manufacturing settings. The ability to port models to diverse types of devices on a single system has immense potential for a more inclusive collaborative effort inside companies, and other organizations where designers and engineers are creating intellectual property in 3D file formats.

Theoretically, if you could replace physical prototypes with digital ones, the impact could be significant. Going through different completed iterations on a design would be much faster if the digital data was 1:1 scale with respect to its physical environment, looking through different 3D designs would be like checking photo filters on Instagram.

Lowering costs by subtracting physical prototypes from the design review equation could help improve product adoption as well as time to market, which would help boost revenue.

If you could use Theorem’s Visualization Experience to verify tooling quality, the time-to-volume production could be reduced before creating a set of large scale prototypes or ramping up production.This would reduce costs by reducing planning times through the improved efficiency of planning by reviewing in augmented reality, virtual reality or mixed reality.

Potential clearance issues and tooling requirements could be visualized at a quicker pace. Less rework of tooling means that the offset cost could be forwarded to developing specialized tools. Improving tooling has all kinds of efficiency benefits like higher throughput and shorter cycle times. If staff can be trained faster with visualization software that pushes different CAD files to everybody’s devices, the time-to-volume production could be sped up as well.

But the key benefit would be to reduce rework costs and improve chances of iterating the best prototype with the early proof of feasibility that Theorem’s Visualization Experience provides.

Theorem Solutions has sponsored this post.—ENGINEERING.com

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