Virtual Reality (VR) technology still needs to evolve, but as the pace of innovations accelerates, systems allow for more novel modes of visualization and interaction to support engineering design reviews. Currently, the classic design review process is often performed on a PC with the support of CAD software packages. However, CAD on a screen cannot always meet all the requirements in regard to the functional and ergonomic validations of complex 3D models. In this paper, the development and evaluation of a VR-based tool to support engineering design review is described. “VRSmart” visualizes CAD data and allows for an intuitive interaction. In a preliminary user study, the tool was checked for its usability and user experience. VRSmart was then evaluated in a real industrial environment and tested in an authentic design review. The results indicate that a VR-supported design review allows users to see slightly more faults in a 3D model than in a CAD software-based approach on a PC screen. Furthermore, VR reduces the risk of exclusion of certain professional groups from the design review process. In addition, the intuitive interaction with the VR system allowed for a much faster entry into the design review. In summary, VR will not replace the traditional design review process on screen, but it provides a useful addition to engineering companies.
- Design review
- Virtual Reality