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Virtual Reality Design Process

The 3D visualisation powerwall is a 4K resolution digital projection system along with active head movement tracking for real time interactive virtual reality. The visualisation and interactive software allows virtual inspection and physical user interaction to enable companies to make effective design decisions early in the product development process.


Research Challenge

Envisage is a small business based in Coventry which designs and engineers innovative products for manufacture. Envisage wanted to turn a physical prototype model - in this case, an aeroplane seat - into a digital prototype to bring the product close to its target audience during the design process. Due to the high cost of building a physical model of an aeroplane, they also wanted to create a digital environment in which to view the seat.


WMG's Product Evaluation Technologies research team used one of its core technologies, a 4K resolution 3D visualisation wall developed by HoloVis International. The team took Envisage's CAD model, which was designed using Autodesk '3D Max' software, and imported it into Autodesk's 'Showcase' software. This software brings photorealistic texture, colouring and lighting to the model, and also background environments in which it can be viewed.

With the digital prototype created, Envisage were not only able to view their seat in 3D inside an aeroplane environment (also 3D), they were also able to take a virtual tour around the plane to see for themselves and allow potential customers to walk on board and around the seating. This helped Envisage to generate interest in their new seats from major aeroplane manufacturers and operators.

Being able to interact with a 3D component or product in its intended environment meas that the design process is accelerated, the product reaches the market quicker and the cost of producing physical prototypes is minimised.

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