We’re working with MIDAS once again – only this time on a virtual and augmented reality project that will allow us to immerse ourselves and our clients in 3D CAD models.

The MIDAS facility houses both the HTC Vive VR headset, as well as Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset.  With virtual reality the user is placed inside a 3D environment instead of simply viewing a screen.  Augmented reality on the other hand uses computer generated images superimposed on the real world (holograms). Applications for AR could be showing a client what their plant is going to look like with a new generator installed and with VR contractors could do walkthroughs to see the inside of the generator before they are on the plant floor, reducing downtime.

Some of the software we are interested in exploring further includes: Unity, Unreal Engine, and Autodesk’s VRED.  While both Unity and Unreal Engine were originally designed for game developers, they have strong VR functionality that we are excited to explore.

Autodesk’s program is appealing because of the compatibility with our existing modelling software, Inventor. This screen capture shows where we have been able to take the software thus far. Utilizing some demo code provided from Autodesk, as well some of our own to increase functionality; we have a VR setup that allows us to walk or teleport around a model.  Using the Vive’s two controllers we were able interact with it using some of the provided tools, like a ruler, flashlight and sectioning tool.