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Better ANSYS Product Design Using Virtual Reality

Better ANSYS Product Design Using Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality offers a new, yet natural way to interact with information. I had a chance to observe the potential during a recent Lunch & Learn event hosted by iQ3, Ozen Engineering and UberCloud.
 
When I put the Oculus virtual reality headset on, I saw the body of a virtual airplane, flying in a giant wind tunnel. The structure’s surfaces were fluorescent ranging from yellow to bright red. The colors indicating the air pressure at each virtual spot. I used a mini joystick to dive under the aircraft and felt I was ducking to avoid hitting my head on the giant wing. Turning my head to my right to look at the tip of the wing, I could see the stream lines. These show the flow path of the air below the wing and how the wing surface deflects the flow as the wing cuts through air during flight.
 
ANSYS computational fluid dynamics software produced the data and iQ3’s software rendered it on the Oculus Virtual Reality headset. Considering the alternative way of observing this information requires sticking an aircraft model in a special, physical wind tunnel, I can appreciate the time and cost savings involved. I believe the real breakthrough results will come from being able to adjust the digital model, letting ANSYS simulation software figure out how this impacts the variables that I care about, like pressure, and see the changes, within the same work day.
 
Ali Merchant, founder of iQ3, explained the use cases range from medical devices to automotive and civil engineering. The equipment required for this demonstration was all off-the-shelf and powered by a standard gaming PC. This makes the investment required for this capability quite reasonable. The required heavy data crunching and storage takes place in the Cloud.
 
The lunch and learn hosted by UberCloud at the Plug and Play Technology Center in Silicon Valley. It gave the attendees a chance to see how engineers use Cloud computing, pervasive simulation and virtual reality technologies together. Engineers can now experience the effects of their design decisions. We will all enjoy the benefits of faster, cheaper and better products.

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