Computer-aided design has been around almost as long as computers themselves. It’s not surprising that with the explosion of virtual reality technology, CAD has seen some major upgrades. After all, the two technologies seem made for each other.
Whether you’re a professional or amateur, an engineer or a hobbyist, pairing VR and CAD presents a world of opportunity for you. What resources are available to help you learn more?
First is a software that many CAD users are already familiar with: SolidWorks. Their 2017 edition products have exceptionally enhanced capabilities in a multitude of VR applications. But of more direct interest is the training that SolidWorks offers. Though aimed primarily at their customers, those just getting their feet wet in VR CAD are sure to benefit. VR enthusiasts looking to learn more about CAD would likewise be hard-pressed to find a better source.
Next, if you’re unfamiliar with current VR headsets and other technologies, you likely want to take the time to practice using them before diving into working with them directly. Thanks to Google Cardboard, all you really need is a printer, smartphone, and a little free time to enjoy your first steps into the VR world.
With the basics of VR and CAD understood, there are widely available tools being used by hobbyists right now. The HTC Vive is a powerful VR platform that anyone can buy. Partnered with Sixense Entertainment, HTC released a powerful platform called MakeVR. When paired with a 3D printer, this VR CAD platform lets users create virtual models and hold them in their hands moments later.
As VR technology has expanded, it’s become increasingly complex. Because of that there are many creators and distributors of CAD software that offer full training and certification classes in the use of their software and of CAD in general. Companies like Autodesk have physical and remote classes you can earn credit for. Some others keep training materials available for download, allowing you to study the principles without needing to purchase the machinery or software.
Of course, if you want a top-dollar education, there’s always a top-dollar option. That’s where Virtalis VR Systems suite comes in. Simple products like the ActiveDesk highlight the everyday potential in VR design, but also in education and entertainment. Virtalis’ other systems, like ActiveCube and ActiveSpace are fully-realized virtual reality environments that can be utilized in a myriad of ways, including an even more immersive modeling environment than what MakeVR allows.
6: Should You Learn Yourself Or is it Better to Hire Experts?
When it comes down to it, if you're looking for a career in virtual reality, then it's best to take the time to learn VR skills (and if you get really good, speak to us, we have the biggest VR architectural rendering team in North America and are always looking for exceptional talent).
But if you just need some renderings as part of a larger business - for example real estate tours made in virtual reality - it doesn't make sense to take the time (and it takes ages..) to learn how to render in virtual yourself.
Much better and more efficient then to hire experts. If you'd like a quote on incorporating VR into your next project, get in touch today and we'll get back to you in 5 - 10 minutes.