Virtual Reality & the 5 Benefits It Brings to CAD

Virtual Reality (VR) has come a long way since its first mention in Stanley G. Weinbaum’s “Pygmalion’s Spectacles.” Most popular among gamers, the technology has found its way into media, education and training, fine arts; architectural and urban design, therapy, concerts, and even design engineering – more specifically, computer-aided design (CAD).
While CAD allows engineers to automate and document their design process, it does not allow them to view their designs in a real-world environment, which occasionally leads to design inaccuracies. The possibilities for design are endless for those who bring CAD to VR. However, if you’re still on the fence, here are 5 benefits virtual reality brings to CAD:

1. Individual Components Accessibility

VR provides design engineers a virtual copy of their products, allowing them to hold an assembly in their hands. It provides them an opportunity to pick apart the pieces and break it down to its individual components.
Virtual Reality, Oculus Technology

2. Enhanced Training Methods

Companies can administer enhanced training methods to their employees with VR before their products hit the prototyping stages. Employees can get a sense of what the product looks like and how it will perform in a real-world setting. They will also be able to efficiently communicate that information to potential buyers.

3. Early Detection of Design Defects

To avoid possible design flaws and last-minute redesigns, VR helps engineers identify potential problems and visualize improvements early on. This is extremely beneficial in architectural design where the “ability to spot any mistakes before they actually happen could prove invaluable.”

4. Tangible Design Experience

Engineers can physically step into their design spaces with VR and receive a more ‘real’ and tangible experience of their creations. VR provides them with an opportunity to realize flawed ideas before they turn into bigger issues and reducing their expenses.

5. Improved Communication/Approval Processes

With VR, design approvals can be obtained at faster rates. Customers and designers can enter the same virtual world while in different locations and easily communicate any design changes in real time. Customers can also experience the product and request additional customizations before making a purchase. At this year’s SOLIDWORKS World (#SWW17) hosted at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, California, USA (Feb. 5 – 8); PBC Linear Senior CAD Systems Engineer, Ethan Kinney, will discuss additional advantages VR brings to CAD. Included in the presentation are some VR design tips, as well as a walkthrough of a brief demo for architectural, industrial, and small item design.  Attendees can get hands-on experience with the demo, which will be displayed at Boxx Technologies’ booth (#629).

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