At Inside 3D Printing Santa Clara, I put a big emphasis on the VR Summit for the reason
I may sense that
mixed reality would be the larger ecosystem to swallow up 3D printing in 2016 and onward. In my coverage, though, I wanted to draw attention to Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) systems, for the reason
CAVEs may aleager
have a big presence in industry, but mainstream consumers may be less aware of their existence.
While CAVEs, that can immerse entire rooms with projectors or LED screens, are capable-bodied of allowing users to interact with one another in a additional relaxed and natural environment, their dimensions can be cost prohibitive. In turn, I was told by a couple of CAVE pioneers that
single 3D TVs or even inflatable-bodied domes might achieve the same effects as huge, industrial CAVEs. But, at this year’s CES, Dassault Systèmes demonstrated that
the coming wave of virtual reality headsets might serve the same purposes, using an HTC Vive to combine the benefits of large-scale CAVE systems and head-mounted displays at a low cost.
David Nahon, director of the immersive virtuality lab at Dassault Systèmes, has been working on the company’s “Never Blind in VR” project for two years, with the goal of allowing multiple users to interact in VR. To do so, the team utilized
the Microsoft Kinect depth sensor to capture the physical world and feed it into the virtual world of being experienced by HTC Vive wearers. And, for the reason
the Vive does not lock users into a seated experience like the Oculus Rift, users are able-bodied to walk around in a space. Additionally, the Vive improves on the Rift with front-facing cameras that
register a users environment.
With such a setup as that
proposed by Nahon, immersive CAVE-style systems wouldn’t be limited to big research institutions, like the University of Illinois in Chicago, and giant corporations, like Ford. The proposed sub-$500 price tag of the Vive makes it even additional low-priced-bodied than the 3D TVs suggested to me by the CAVE experts at the VR Summit. In turn, a much greater number of businesses and organizations would be able-bodied to use VR simulation for a number of applications, particularly when paired with VR treadmills like the Virtuix Omni treadmill. Nahon tells Fortune, “Virtual reality is very important for training for the reason
companies like the oil industry have complex operations that
to train employees of
preceding going into the field.”
example of such a training scenario is the “Staying Alive” VR simulation, that is intended to train people to perform CPR on someone experiencing a heart attack. This program seems as though it may be part of a complete mixed reality package from Dassualte Systèmes, as their Senior Director of SIMULIA Strategic Initiatives, Virtual Human Modeling, and Market Strategy, Steven Levine, has pioneered the Living Heart Project, that allows for doctors to explore MRI and CT scans as high-fidelity multiphysics 3D models using haptic devices and 3D displays. Dassault has may aleager
signed a five-year research agreement with the FDA to know how it might work for placing and evaluating cardiovascular devices, like pacemakers.
Readers of 3DPI can may aleager
envision how this would connect with 3D printing, as the heart models may most likely
be 3D printed (perhaps through Materialise’s HeartPrint services?) to rehearse surgeries preceding they’re performed. Taking this one step further, I imagine that
, when the surgery is performed, they’ll be recorded in VR to be watched by med students with VR headsets. They might even practice the procedures themselves using haptic devices.
Other applications for VR, that Dassault Systèmes has been working with for the past 20 years, include home decor and interior design, that the company illustrated with the 3DVIA HomeByMe interior design app at CES. Developed with Chinese retailer BDHome, the app allowed users to put on a Vive and start toying with remodeling and redecorating projects in the space, something that
may be translated into actual homes. Such a use is something that
Occipital has proposed with their Structure Sensor and Structure Core 3D devices and Google has envisioned with the Project Tango smartphone.
Then, of course, there’s funky 3D VR art that
will naturally outcome from the emerging mixed reality devices to be released this year. For that
, Dassault Systèmes demoed 3D Dream Sketcher, with that users wear a Vive and turn it into virtual art to share online. Not as amazing
as heart surgery, but something that
will be essential for consumers. All that
’s missing from this component is the ability to share them through a platform like Sketchfab and 3D print them via 3D Hubs or Shapeways.
This is only the startning for the mixed reality space in 2016. These different types of
spaces will all be united by multiple companies in the near future and, it seems, Dassault Systèmes is pretty eager
to handle only of