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December 13, 2016


The last few weeks I have been playing with different Virtual Reality (VR) systems which can be used for our industry. You can refer to my previous post Virtual & Augmented Reality Systems I Experienced Recently for the systems I have used and my initial thoughts. Cost of VR is one of the main reasons most organizations do not want to invest in VR at this time. It is not just the cost of the VR system but also the cost of learning how to create a VR model good enough to be used for VR.

Because of the perception of the “high investment” in VR, people in the shipbuilding industry have never experienced VR and therefore do not know of the potential it has. This is why I have been looking for ways to get more people aware of VR by creating an easy and cost effective way to get them to experience it. In this post I will demonstrate how you can leverage a ShipConstructor model and a $20 Google Cardboard to get your feet wet with VR applicable to shipbuilding. It is so easy that I got my 4-year-old son to help me demonstrate the process 🙂 .

4 Year Old Experiencing Shipbuilding VR

If you cannot access YouTube you can download the video here.

What My Son is Seeing

Note: When recording my phone’s screen the quality of the VR image degrades substantially. My son’s experience is much smoother.

Your $20 Shipbuilding VR Experience

The method I am demonstrating by no means is good enough to be used for production in shipbuilding but it is perfect to demonstrate the potential of VR with a ship model. In this demonstration I used a compartment of a ship model created in ShipConstructor, a $20 Google Cardboard and a mobile phone which you already have.

I leveraged the work that Lars Schneider, Kean Walmsley and Oleg Dedkow have done with Vrok-It.

Vrok-it definition:

“Vrok” is a combination of Virtual Reality Online Collaboration and the verb to grok. Vrok-it allows multiple people to grok a 3D model in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

There are a couple of cool things about Vrok-it. First it allows you to add any model that you already have with no requirement for modifying it and also supports a multi-person VR experience even if they are in different locations. In my demonstration I only have my four-year-old son immersed in the VR session but I would be able to get others in the VR session by sharing the URL or QR Code.

What is Required for your $20 VR Experience

  1. A Mobile Phone (I assume you already have one)
  2. Google Cardboard ($20)
  3. QR Reader App(free)

How do you Start your $20 VR Experience?

  1. On your computer open a browser and go to URL:
  2. Click Upload file
  3. Select a ShipConstructor Navisworks model
  4. On your phone open your QR Reader App
  5. Scan the QR Code on the top left of your browser
  6. Put your mobile phone in the Google Cardboard and have fun experiencing VR

Closing Remarks

Virtual Reality(VR) has tremendous value in our industry as we search for better ways to communicate our designs with internal and external stakeholders. There are a lot of VR systems out there today but to get the VR experience we want, it will require some investment in $ as well as in time to prepare models. For some, this investment is small compared to benefits it will have.

VR is going through some rapid growth and the day where we will have a great cost effective VR experience with a push of a button is coming very fast.

The example I show in this post demonstrates how easy VR is becoming. We should expect in a year that the process will get even easier and the quality will continue to improve.

The days of being required to communicate via 2D are long gone.

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Post Comments

  1. Ilya Chudakov says:

    Great post! 🙂 Very cool stuff!

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