Is Gaming technology the future of Engineering?


We have developed a range of Visualization Experience applications using the latest gaming graphics engines, that optimise CAD design data for use in the interactive and immersive environments of Augmented, Mixed or Virtual Reality on the latest devices.

On the surface, video gaming and engineering don’t have much in common. Gaming is a recreational activity, transporting users into another reality and into situations not necessarily viable in the real world. With gaming there is an element of fantasy and storytelling. Engineering, on the other hand, is the very real and practical world of creating what we need in everyday life.

However, 3D gaming graphics and immersive gaming experiences are starting to bridge the gap between the two industries. Technology used to develop and host video games is being used to help solve challenges in the engineering and manufacturing industries.

Gaming graphics as Engineering data
Gaming relies on the quality of its 3D graphics. The use of graphics engines by games developers, along with additional technology such as motion capture, allow developers to create incredibly sharp graphics that feed such interactive and immersive experiences.

In engineering, CAD systems are used to generate product designs that need to be rich in design information. Engineers, manufacturers, and their supply chains, need to be able to view data such as dimensions, materials and tolerances. Although the quality of graphics in modern CAD systems are sufficient, the standard of those used for computer games has surpassed them.

“Graphic engines used for gaming, such as Unity or Unreal, can be used to develop applications for engineering and manufacturing use cases,” observes Stuart Thurlby, our CEO “for example, gaming engines can offer better design software capabilities, for efficient 3D real-time rendering, simulation, gesture control and virtual environments.”

Using Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality in Engineering and Manufacturing
Graphical experience platforms such as Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality, and the new low cost devices used by them, are starting to be adopted by engineers to help with design and production.

The graphics for Virtual Reality gaming consist of a special kind of stereo 3D graphics. In Engineering, VR adds more dimensions to virtual design review, prototyping, building, assembly, service and training use-cases.

Gaming using Augmented Reality, where the digital gaming content is overlaid onto the real world, allows players to use their smartphones or tablets to interact with digital characters, but use the real world around them as their playing environment. Using Augmented Reality allows engineers to assess assembly processes in the factory environment and evaluate training and serviceability practices in situ.

Mixed Reality is similar to Augmented Reality in that it is an overlay of digital content onto the real world, but with MR, content appears in the form of a hologram which sits in the real world and interacts in real time. In Engineering, using Mixed Reality allows engineers and manufacturing staff to review their design and manufacturing processes in their office, studio or factory floor and make changes digitally before any physical production takes place and expensive mistakes are made.

Combining gaming technology and the devices with engineering CAD and PLM data in a single application creates the ultimate interactive user experience, becoming even more powerful when combined with Metadata from MES, ERP and CRM systems- and for IoT and Digital Twin that’s a fundamental requirement.

Learn more by watching our short overview video


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