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VR modeling

VR modeling

1. Describe your environment: What is your industry? What is your role in your organization? Describe your stakeholders.
CTO/mechanical design engineer at small company doing industrial stuff.


2. What version of Creo Parametric are you currently running?
8

3. Describe the problem you are trying to solve. Please include detailed documentation such as screenshots, images or video.
I have wished since 1999 to be able to work in a true spatial 3D environment.
It is kind of sadly amusing that we create 3D models using a 2D environment and what is basically one fingertip.

 

But today a nice VR headset is $1000, and any moderately sturdy CAD station has the capacity to drive it. My Valve Index even has "claws" - the handheld controllers detect finger movements individually.

 

I should be able to hold my models in my lap, turn it around, pick and apply features onto them from a palette, adjusting dimensions, like "Here's a hole (drops it on a surface). A little wider (spreads thumb and index finger at its perimeter). This deep (pokes the bottom).

4. What is the use case for your organization?
Faster modeling.

5. What business value would your suggestion represent for your organization?
What you really mean with this question is "what business value would this mean for PTC in order to recuperate the development cost".

Well, do not underestimate the value of a fancy demonstration before bosses. I cannot count the many times I have astonished decision makers with a slick display of sci-fi-like visuals. Mainly renderings and results from FEA simulations so far, which could be improved.. That is what gets resources thrown at the engineering team. 3D printers, CNC machines, and whatever software we desire. These days I sit on both chairs and approve my own equipment requests, but still.

And it is essential, because otherwise they tend to think of us as draft monkeys who only need a slide ruler and pencil, and spend our days drawing square sheets with holes at the corners. Any demonstration that we are actually Ironman's Tony Stark instead massively helps the R&D budget.

8 Comments
olivierlp
Community Manager
Status changed to: Acknowledged

Hello @CAD_Monkey ,
Thank you for your idea and the information provided. We really meant what we asked, and thanks for giving some info about that.  😉  

lwestbrook
16-Pearl

Hi @CAD_Monkey ,

 

Thanks for the idea submission and the information. For the last question (business value), we really do want to know the value you and your company would find in gaining this functionality. You've addressed some of that (compelling "WOW factor" for demos), but I suspect there is more. Do you have a sense for the time/cost savings you might find if you could design in AR/VR?

 

I'm also curious about your thoughts on some of the barriers to designing in AR/VR, for example:

  • Modeling requires fairly extreme precision that is not so easy to accomplish with hands versus a mouse. Modeling with your hands is very intuitive but imprecise. Thoughts?
  • Would you expect to be creating designs from scratch, or mostly making changes to existing designs or designs initially modeled on a desktop?
  • Exhaustion from prolonged periods waving arms around and/or wearing a bulky headset. Thoughts?

 

For the record, I like your idea, but it would be very helpful to get your perspective on some of these common objections.

 

Luke

 

idrive101
5-Regular Member

Count one more in suggesting VR implementation!

As for your questions/VR barriers:

- Modeling requires precision, I'm sure PTC software engineers would be able to find an effective solution to model prcisely in VR. After all, here we give you ideas, it's your job to turn them into reality 🙂

- I recently started having issues with my wrist, even the best ergonomic mouse is good enough when you use it for too long. Hence I started looking at VR modeling. I expect  I would use VR standing and moving my arms for at least half of my workday, the rest of the time stitting and straining my wrist.

 

Guido

 

CAD_Monkey
7-Bedrock

Thank you for responding!

 

The business value is probably hard to put a price tag on, but I like to believe that working with both hands would speed up things.

 

Today I have a mouse pointer and a 3D puck. Working is akin to twisting a piece of material in one hand and poking at it with a fine brush with the other, pausing to dip the brush in ink all the time. This pointillistic approach could be improved if I had more than a mouse pointer that does double duty between placing operations and launching commands. Yes, I do use a few MapKeys as well, but it is not an ideal solution.

 

I'm not sure how working in VR would take place. I envision picking a square block with one hand, tugging at its edges to change its proportions and size.

 

Picking a hole from a menu and throw it on a surface. Moving it around with a finger, widening its diameter with two fingers. Setting its depth by poking its floor?

 

Placing dimensions between chosen references by tapping surfaces or such. When I want to set a certain parametric value numerically I suppose I could poke its dimension and type a number on a pallet.

 

Generally conjuring pallets by gestures, or simply having them hover in the air and drag them to me when I need them.

 

Pulling apart assemblies along non-constrained directions. Collision detection - preferably with mass applied in zero gravity, so the things gently bounce and slide on each other - so you can see how machinery can be put together.

 

I can tell you one thing that would help me immensely: I do a lot of rather weird sheet metal structures that are optimized for structural integrity. There are planes at odd angles to each other, in patterns that make the structures difficult to visualize, both mentally and in 2D pictures. I have to do a lot of pictures, and even when I work with the structures myself I need to spin them around all the time to see them properly. Having depth perception would a terrific boon for me.

 

And a quick function for "show in 1:1 scale". I cannot count the times I have modeled something only to be taken by surprise by the real-world size. "This injection moulded valve that I spent hours optimizing the draft angles and edge radiuses on is so tiny that I need a magnifying glass to see the details. Perhaps I did not need to worry so much about the corners?", and "This tripod is too tall for a person to raise. You need a ladder to turn the locking nut!"

 

Cheers

lwestbrook
16-Pearl

@CAD_Monkey 

 

This is extremely helpful! Thank you for such a thoughtful response. 

 

One thing I will tell you is that the last two points you mentioned: visualizing complex sheetmetal structures and seeing designs at 1:1 scale--both of these use cases can be accomplished today with AR Design Share in Creo.  If you want more information, please send me a direct message. If you try it out, it would be great to hear what you think about it. 

 

Luke

CAD_Monkey
7-Bedrock

Okay, thanks.

 

Problem is that due to IT safety concerns, all our R&D work is offgrid.The second we hook up a computer to the internet we are hammered with hacking attempts from 18 different nations.

 

So all those newfangled cloud share thingies with iPads and mobile stuff are of no use to us. If I am to impress a pointy-haired decision maker, it would be through a PDF or with them standing in my office.

 

That glossy SciFi future where we all run around in the sun with AR goggles and swipe models left and right is not quite the current state. I rather feel like one of those engineers in the Nebuchadnezzar ship in The Matrix is closer to my reality.

lwestbrook
16-Pearl

Ahh okay, that is unfortunate but it does make sense. 

DR_9903363
3-Visitor

I want to Second the Motion raised by idrive101 last May. Ergonomic concerns are top drawer in corporate offices, generally, and more so among CAD users and Engineering Team Management. Getting more of the body involved in the process would "spread the load" to many additional musculoskeletal elements of the body, enable working in nearly any posture, and probably also do wonders to reduce eye fatigue; I doubt you'd ever find anyone squinting trying to read a VR display.

Integration of VR COULD be in stages; recognizing that a "mature" implementation would demand a very substantive overhaul of the entire GUI. As a set of first steps, though, consider how the present GUI could recognize a tracked finger as the mouse pointer picking an action from the Toolbar.  Consider how one finger could pick and hold one element, like holding CTRL, while another picks the second for placement of a dimension, or for Analysis using the Measure tool. Even these simple implementations would be an ergonomic advance.

In time, envision the Ribbon as a floating, repositionable element in the VR "space" always view-normal to the user.  Touch it expanded. Touch it collapsed. Push it over to the side. Floating context menus materialize for, say, numerical entry of dimensions. And/OR perhaps incorporate a recognized "script" a la the old Palm Pilot, but sans stylus as the user would use a fingertip to "write" text data into Notes, Annotations, &c. And perhaps the user's own tracked hands are represented by "ghost" hands in the VR space for visual feedback instead of that positively ancient Windows arrow we feel wedded to after all these years. What would it be like to "grab" the model in one hand, turn it, and have Creo recognize the virtual axis of rotation, and respond in kind? Grab with both hands and stretch or compress instead of flipping a scroll wheel to zoom in or out. Grab a part and "toss" it offscreen to Delete it from an assembly. Turn to one side and open a virtual cabinet to view side-scrolling shelves bearing all the parts and assemblies in your Workspace, or in Session.

More immediately, though, two or three "baby steps" just to get some preliminary functionality incorporated would be a fabulous start.