Quick guide: VR enabled applications
14 March 2017
The market for Virtual Reality applications is growing with each month and it’s difficult to keep track of what’s out there. To help, here’s a, by no means exhaustive, list of what’s out there now or coming soon. Stay tuned to DEVELOP3D, as we’ll cover new entrants as they come out and hit the market.
Product: Virtalis VR4CAD
Virtalis has taken two decades of experience with Virtual Reality and distilled it into a lowcost application that allows you to read your CAD geometry, do a little set-up and display it on the HTC Vive. The system doesn’t have the bells and whistles of its parent, Visionary Render, but it’s way more affordable.
Product: ESI Group IC.IDO
ESI has been active in VR since it acquired IC.IDO (the company) in 2011. IC.IDO is its fl agship digital mock up system. Featuring CAD import and a real time physical engine, it’s one of the leading systems in use in hundreds of multinational OEMs. If you want the high-end, this is your boy.
Product: MiddleVR Improov3
Built on top of Unity, Improov3 is focussed on collaboration using Virtual Reality. It allows users to load multiple 3D models and view them at scale one in Virtual Reality. The product review can be collaborative, meaning a user in another office, city or country can join the meeting room.
Product: Radeon ProRender
AMD is developing a set of GPU accelerated rendering plug-ins for the likes of Rhino and SolidWorks. While Radeon ProRender doesn’t support VR directly, the latest update gives you a workfl ow to export your CAD model to the Unreal game engine, so you can start building your own VR experiences.
Product: Autodesk VRED
Autodesk has a lot of chops in the media and entertainment industry. When this is combined with the photorealistic rendering capabilities of VRED, some scripting and support for the Vive and Rift, you get something truly magical and very usable. (Read our review here)
GravitySketch is a UK-based start-up that began with freeform creation tools for the iPad, but has quickly moved into VR with a version for the Vive. It gives you a range of tools to create freeform models using the VR controllers, plane locks and all manner of goodies. We look at the beta here.
This is Google’s VR creation tool — allowing you to draw in 3D space. A recent update has also brought the ability to drag and drop OBJ files (output from your CAD system), making it ideal for quick inspection and mark-up. It’s also consumer focussed, so the £22.99 price is ridiculously low.
Product: Visualisation Experience for VR
Theorem brings its wealth of knowledge in visualisation data optimisation to the VR world. A new set of visualisation applications focussed on VR and AR (Theorem’s Digital Realities products) allow assembly inspection and interaction. The software also pulls in meta data.
Product: WorldViz ‘Skofield’ (codename)
Enterprise VR solution specialist WorldViz is working on a new communication platform, codenamed “Skofield”, that is said to operate much like a GoToMeeting for VR. The software is designed to offer firms an immersive environment for communicating complex designs to dispersed teams.
Mindesk is developing a set of plug-ins for Rhino that allow you to display models and interact with them using both the Rift and Vive. Control of the model mimics multitouch gestures with the controllers, too. The team is planning to enhance this with model editing and creation tools as well.
Product: TechViz XL
TechViz’s TechViz XL features a comprehensive set of tools for view, digital mockup, ergonomic test and collaboration. The team has just added support for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, in addition to long standing support for Canon’s head mounted devices.
Product: PiXYZ Studio
PiXYZ, developed by Light & Shadow, focuses on data reduction and lightweighting for VR. It can bring in all manner of data in both mesh and hard surface formats, carry out optimisation and feature removal, so you can get VR sessions really singing on the performance front.
Data reduction and remeshing is a pretty complex task, so SimplyGon moved the process to the cloud (there’s also a desktop offering). The company was acquired by Microsoft in early 2017, presumably to compliment Microsoft’s Augmented Reality efforts with data preparation.
Product: Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine is a stalwart in 3D game development, but it has also built up a strong following in the professional market. Its dedicated Enterprise division helps firms build both consumer and technical VR experiences. To see what can be done, see our McLaren cover story.
Game engine Unity is becoming a favourite amongst the enterprise community, allowing firms to quickly develop systems that integrate their own workflows into a more efficient platform for VR experiences. A number of tools on this page use Unity as the core VR platform.
This article is part of a DEVELOP3D Special Report into Virtual Reality (VR) for design, engineering and manufacturing, which takes an in-depth look at the latest developments in software and hardware and what you need to get up and running.
Everything is for a reason How McLaren Automotive unleashes VR to create faster cars with more attention to detail
Virtual Reality challenges & future Six industry thought leader’s views on the future of VR
HTC Vive: Getting up and running Our experience of working with HTC Vive and how to avoid common mistakes
Workstations & GPUs for VR A back to basics guide to buying hardware for Virtual Reality
The future of immersive engineering Virtual Reality (VR) is the current hot topic, but Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) is on its way. We take a look at where things are heading
Game on Amalgam creates game controllers for Holovis
VRED Pro 2017 & VR The latest release adds greater support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift tools
Virtalis VR4CAD Offering expertise in VR at a much more affordable level
ESI Group IC.IDO 11 ESI’s IC.ID0 is one of the most advanced Digital Mock Up tools available. With its addition of Vive support, we take a look at what the system is capable of and how it can benefit engineering
Gravity Sketch Beta An interesting take on Modelling in Virtual Reality
Google Tiltbrush A system for VR creativity that’s both cheap and capable
Oculus Medium A good contender for design experimentation
Amari Magnetar V25 This stylish workstation has been specifically designed for VR. But despite its slimsline chassis, you can still cram in incredible processing power
Nvidia Quadro P2000/P4000 Nvidia is changing the landscape of professional 3D graphics with a new family of Pascal Quadro GPUs, including a single slot ‘VR Ready’ card.