Virtual prototyping

Figure 1.17: Architecture is a prime example of where a virtual prototype is invaluable. This demo, called Ty Hedfan, was created by designer Olivier Demangel. The real kitchen is above and the virtual kitchen is below.

In the real world, we build prototypes to understand how a proposed design feels or functions. Thanks to 3D printing and related technologies, this is easier than ever. At the same time, virtual prototyping enables designers to inhabit a virtual world that contains their prototype (Figure 1.17). They can quickly interact with it and make modifications. They also have opportunities to bring clients into their virtual world so that they can communicate their ideas. Imagine you want to remodel your kitchen. You could construct a model in VR and then explain to a contractor exactly how it should look. Virtual prototyping in VR has important uses in many businesses, including real estate, architecture, and the design of aircraft, spacecraft, cars, furniture, clothing, and medical instruments.

Steven M LaValle 2016-12-31