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Virtual Reality software for CAD engineers and designers

21 November 2016

Virtalis launched VR4CAD, a low-cost VR viewer that makes it quick and easy to view, investigate and annotate CAD models using PC-based HMDs or 3D screens.

Based upon Virtalis’ Visionary Render software, VR4CAD directly reads the 3D CAD file to quickly import and build a VR scene for viewing in low-cost PC-based HMDs, such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive or on a zSpace or other 3D screen.

VR4CAD adopts a plug-and-play approach, instantly recognising which VR viewing device is installed and presenting users with a start window that directly reads the 3D CAD file.

Users can save viewpoints, annotations and snapshots and VR4CAD boasts ambient occlusion and shadowing. 

Virtalis’ blue chip clients like Rolls-Royce, Siemens, BAE System and Raytheon acknowledge that the VR technology saves them money across the product lifecycle. 

Now VR4CAD can become available to all. The software has an introduction price offering of £999 for the first year, so SME’s can come within grasp of the advantages of VR.

Steve Carpenter, Virtalis’ sales director explained: “With HMDs now retailing for less than £700 and a decent VR-capable graphics card costing £1,000-1,500, we analysed the SME market place and realised what was stopping them benefitting from VR was the price of the software. Our blue chip clients acknowledge that our VR technology saves them money right across the product lifecycle, with other engineering firms, like CNH, using VR for market research and marketing too.  Now, for the first time, these advantages come within the grasp of the SME.”

The software is an efficient tool to help train engineers on servicing on-site products. In the virtual world, engineers can learn and observe the layout of a wind turbine, a production line or even pull apart motors and drives before going on-site to do the official work. It can even be used to plan architectural layouts and interior design, allowing the user to step into buildings that haven’t been built yet.

The launch of VR4CAD was held at the University of Liverpool, in London. Virtalis and the University partnered before with the installation of the university’s own Activewall, an interactive 3D VR system to help digitise the students and give them the relevant skills necessary for careers outside education.

VR4CAD supports the following CAD packages and formats:

• CreoView
• Solidworks
• Autodesk Inventor 
• Collada
• Unigraphics NX
• Open JT
• STEP format

All licences bought before 31 December will cost £999 for the first year. After that date, only the first licence within an organisation will be sold at this price for the first year only, with years two and three priced at £2,000 per annum or a perpetual licence for £5,000. If the customer decides to upgrade to Visionary Render, then the full price of the VR4CAD licence is discounted, as long as the new licence is licensed to the same computer.

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