Prolog

In the aerospace, automotive and shipbuilding sectors, 3D CAD is being adopted increasingly by OEMs as part of the digitalization process and the trend has subsequently percolated down to suppliers and vendors. As a result, CAD data has become central to the design review process across the value chain.


CAD to VR

The fusion of CAD and VR has proved to be a boon for engineering design reviews. Customers have been lured by the assured and instant productivity gains and there is an ever-increasing need to conduct design reviews using CAD models in the VR environment. To address this need, dozens of CAD to VR software have mushroomed.


Challenges

The internal transition of the CAD model to VR could be grossly misleading, since under-the-hood the native CAD data is being translated to some intermediate format suitable for light weight viewing using their VR plugin.

With large datasets, this evidently becomes a time-consuming process. Handling large CAD models is frustrating for all stakeholders during a design review and are so common that many simply consider them the cost of working with CAD to VR. But the impact is more than just an individual nuisance.

  1. The clear business impact of handling large CAD datasets is wasted design review time and subsequent risk of data losses due to the translation optimization which is imperative in such scenarios. The time spent on getting the data into VR and any re-orientation or repair of the model that follows is a major bottleneck in conducting a successful design review.
  2. The cost overruns that occur due to rework are an inevitable byproduct of inefficient design reviews. These are increasingly becoming unbearable for large OEMs and directly hampering their bottom lines. And at the heart of this problem is the imperfect and time-consuming process of handling large CAD datasets

An insight from our customers has revealed that over 79% of companies struggle with this.


Solution

In selecting a CAD to VR solution, businesses should look for vendors that are willing to invest the time in understanding challenges like large dataset handling for VR-based design reviews and help establish the processes that will address these challenges before any VR software is implemented.

They also should look for a vendor with experience in their specific industry and can provide simple implementation processes and superior customer support. It is only through this combination of processes and capabilities that the stakeholders in a design review can succeed in these competitive times.

Exxar is an industry-first collaborative XR technology, that streams data from the native CAD directly into the virtual reality space. The menaces of translating native formats to yet another intermediate format and the subsequent perils of data loss, data security and not to mention the long waiting time are nipped in the bud by Exxar. By tactfully eluding the risks posed by flawed handling of large CAD datasets early in the design review process, you save enormous time and rework costs.

We had a customer actually give the quote, “We’re pleased if we only find five location errors in a model translated from CAD to VR.” After implementing Exxar which handles large CAD datasets effortlessly by way of streaming, the comment was, “Within 20 minutes I have reviewed the CAD model, which not only had zero flaws but it loaded our entire assembly of the vessel in a jiffy. Prior to implementing Exxar, our design review was almost a full day exercise”. Such savings in cost and time are unheard of and unprecedented.

Summary

The globally competitive environment in which corporations operate demands that stakeholders are able to cut their design review cycles, in half thereby making actual ideas exchange a greater proportion of the job. In such scenarios the ability of a VR software that can handle large datasets in a collaborative environment becomes key.

Handling large CAD datasets is a cumbersome task that undergoes a tedious translation from one format to another before ultimately making it to the VR space. This results in wastage of valuable time and employee resources.

A plethora of VR vendors claim to ease the process of CAD to VR transition only to end up providing semi-automatic CAD data authoring tools or processes. Exxar stands out from the pack by making this experience seamless. By using cutting-edge technologies like native CAD data streaming, handling large datasets is now a one-click, single-minute process. This means you can potentially save millions in costly rework and time delays typically associated with handling large CAD datasets by using Exxar for your CAD design reviews.

Tushar Suradkar

Mechanical Engineer with 23 yrs of experience, specializing in Design Automation, CAD Customization, AR/VR Product Development, and Channel Enablement

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