Virtual Reality for Prototyping: Industry Use Cases, Architecture, Costs

Powered by 31 years in immersive software development and 24 years in 3D modeling, ScienceSoft provides top-class VR software development services.

Market for virtual reality prototyping

The market of virtual reality (VR) for prototyping, estimated $210.4 million in 2017, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.4% by 2025. With 96% of enterprises, which already leverage VR, stating that they use the technology for prototyping, it is one of the key VR use segments.

Industry use cases of VR for prototyping

Virtual prototyping allows for cheaper and faster design and modification of parts or elements and full models of products, which are to be later constructed for various industries, including:

Aerospace and aviation

VR prototyping of aircraft and spacecraft.

Automotive

Virtual prototyping of automobiles and other wheeled vehicles.

Healthcare

Virtual prototyping of medical technical/manual equipment.

Real estate

VR prototyping of facilities, houses, apartments and apartment blocks, and other structures.

Consumer electronics

Virtual product design of household appliances and tech gadgets for consumer use.

1:1 scale models

allowing for real-life prototype testing.

Dynamic prototype modification

via desktop or in-VR design tools.

Collaboration mode

for designers to work on a prototype together.

Fast online sharing of prototype iterations

with a customer for getting early feedback.

Collaborative VR prototyping solution architecture

The typical architecture of VR prototyping software comprises:

Data storage

for storing 3D model prototypes and data on the interactions they allow. Can be located on-premises (in case of strict data privacy requirements) or in the cloud (for convenient collaborative work and sharing). We focus on the cloud storage option.

Web administration panel

for importing models to the cloud data storage and managing uploaded content. Can be integrated with design tools of choice for in-browser model modification.

VR application

for visualizing, testing, and modifying 3D prototypes in the VR environment. The application contains modules that enable:

  • Dynamic modification of prototype models (see the process on the diagram below).
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  • Access to the design tools of choice in the VR environment.
  • Interaction with a model based on preprogrammed scenario actions (e.g., a user can test operating a vehicle prototype).
  • Application of kinesthetic attributes to 3D models.
  • Feedback generation.
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Typical architecture of VR prototyping software - ScienceSoft

3D modeling

Client application

Cloud services: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud
Back end: .NET, Python, PHP, Java, Go, Node.js
Front end: JavaScript (Angular, React, Backbone, Meteor, etc.), HTML, CSS
Mobile: iOS, Android, Xamarin, Cordova, React Native, Flutter, PWA
Databases: Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Azure SQL Database, PostgreSQL

Simulation modeling

Back end

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

Front end

For a web administration panel

Cloud databases (DBaaS)

A success story of VR for prototyping

BMW has leveraged Unreal Engine to build virtual prototypes of their vehicles. Previously, the company assembled full-scale car models out of small clay elements, which required time and effort to modify or recreate during multiple rounds of adjustments. With a virtual prototype, the designers can easily modify the prototype in a few minutes and get the approval in days. It has drastically reduced the costs of BMW’s engineering processes.

Plan to Win the Market or Raise Profits with VR Prototyping?
Thanks to the expertise in implementing low-latency immersive software and designing highly realistic 3D models, ScienceSoft can become your reliable partner in developing VR prototyping product or solution.
Challenge

Long delays in input/output can skew prototype testing results and pose significant inconveniences during in-VR prototype modification.

Check out the solution

Solution:

Minimizing latency to the recommended minimum of ~5-20ms is critical for VR prototyping. Among the feasible methods are:

  • Ensuring the quality of connection.
  • Choosing the nearest geographic location for 3D models storage (possible when working with a cloud service provider that provides the choice of storage geo-locations).
  • Calculating the processing power necessary for smooth software performance so as to target powerful enough VR hardware.
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VR prototyping software costs

While estimating the cost of VR prototyping software development, ScienceSoft considers the following:

General cost drivers

  • Complexity of 3D model attributes (kinesthetic attributes require additional work).
  • Complexity of prototype interaction scenarios.
  • Number and types of targeted devices.

Additional costs

  • Hardware (Tethered HMD: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index; Smartphone-compatible viewers: Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream View; Standalone HMD: Lenovo Mirage Solo.)
  • Integrations with 3D design tools of choice (Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, etc.)

Operational costs

  • Cloud services (price depends on the provider’s plan and pricing policy).

VR for prototyping: consulting and development by ScienceSoft

Driven by 24 years of experience in 3D modeling and over 31 years in developing low-latency software, ScienceSoft offers VR prototyping consulting and development services.

VR for prototyping: consulting

  • VR prototyping software concept finalization.
  • Long-term release planning.
  • VR architecture design.
  • Planning of integration with various types of hardware and software.
  • Technology stack definition and optimization.

VR for prototyping: development

  • Business analysis.
  • VR architecture planning.
  • UI/UX design.
  • 3D model design.
  • VR development and quality assurance.
  • Integration with a wide range of hardware/software.
  • Continuous support and evolution.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global software development and IT consulting company established 1989 and headquartered in McKinney, TX. By developing VR software for prototyping, we facilitate product design in various industries.