2. General introduction to VR

General introduction to VR

Discover what VR is today, who might need it, and who are the solution providers. The experiences recounted will should help lead to successful VR implementations.

Virtual Reality is a technology that has grown in importance since the beginning of the 1990s. The term owes at least some of its notoriety to the book « Virtual Reality : Exploring the Brave New Technologies of Artificial Experience and Interactive Worlds from Cyberspace » (1991) from Howard Rheingold. It addresses the future technical possibilities of Cyberspace, as well as to experience artificial realities in virtual worlds. Howard Rheingold is a visionary who had as early as the 1980s already delved into the related applications of the personal computer in his book « The Virtual Community » for the first social networking experiences.

Product development with virtual prototyping

In this report, Gottfried Roosen describes digital virtual models, the state of the art and the advantages of this technology >>

Interactive virtual training for initial and on-going training

This report from Gottfried Roosen on the state of development and the current performance of interactive virtual training systems >>

Stereo 3D : What is stereoscopy and how does it work ?

What are the processes used today for stereoscopic imaging? What is stereoscopic 3D & how does it work ?


Virtual Reality Symposium Report CADplace Germany organized a symposium on virtual reality at the Heidelberg SRH University. The key technology companies for complete VR solutions participated >>

Virtual reality quickly became a motor for the game industry and is the origin of the current boom in 3D with realtime 3D, 3D glasses, 3D displays, and 3D projectors for 3-dimensional vision filled with functions such as 3D tracking for game input.

VR in Industry

Already at the beginning of the 1990s, virtual reality was already used for various applications in science, the military, and industry for which the development has continued up to today.

In professional applications, VR is also known under the labels « 3D Visualisation » or « Virtual Engineering ». It is applied notably in product design, product development, training and marketing.

  • interactive training simulations for initial and continuing training
  • product design with virtual prototypes
  • product development using various physics simulations
  • visualization in architecture and building design
  • virtual design for production systems
  • virtual marketing

Communication via virtual reality techniques benefits ideally from a common database of design information and allows the presentation of alternatives for particular design requirements or specialized projects. During the stages of design and development, simulations allow for the optimisation of both the products and the processes. With such capabilities, a client can select very early products from a digital catalogue or even configure the product himself.

Successful application of VR began with virtual models in design which replaced classic models from metals, woods, or other materials requiring significant effort, time and costs to generate. Give the high costs, the need for multiple models, and the time delays, using digital mock-up models and VR techniques allowed for rapid evaluation and modifications leading to a significantly accelerated and less expensive design cycle.

Simulations of digital models serves to eliminate errors and optimise the product design and production saving enourmous costs and schedule delays due to design errors.

Studies of the assembly, service and the production process of the design play an important role in the production optimization. The savings of time, materials, and money are considerable if it is possible to verify the interactions in a precise and realistic manner using virtual models. For example, during the development of a new helicopter, the American manufacturer, Sikorsky, could – thanks to VR technologies from Haption – could test accurately the assembly and maintenance processes using a 6D force-feedback system with real-time collision detection, and thereby eliminate errors in the design and production using a virtual model that would have cost $18 million to build.


Author: Gottfried Roosen


Companies & Solutions

  • 3Dims – Powerwalls and 3D stereo solutions
  • ART – realtime motion tracking systems  
  • Bunkspeed – 3D visualisation and animation software
  • Dassault Systems – 3dvia
  • FARO – 3D scanners 
  • Haption – force-feedback robotic systems
  • ICIDO – immersive, real-time 3D visualisation
  • imsys – 3D projection systems
  • Lenovo – Professional workstations
  • Panasonic – high-performance and stereo displays
  • TAROX – Professional workstations
  • Linvinsolids – Interactive virtual reality
  • more3D – 3D stereo solutions
  • Realicon – Powerwall solutions
  • RTT – visualisation, animation & design
  • Schneider Digital – Powerwall & 3D stereo solutions
  • Transcat – 3D software, analyse, & services
  • Visenso – Flux simulations
  • Tridelity – Stereo displays

A Deeper Look

    • What is stereoscopy and how does it work? (source more3D)
    • 3D Stereo : A report by Gottfried Roosen addressing the state of the art in interactive simulation and training systems for initial and ongoing training requirements.
  • Product design with virtual prototypes
  • Visualisation in architecture and building design
  • Virtual production planning
  • Virtual marketing
  • 3D projection technology
  • 3D glasses and headsets


  • 3dvia Studio – free version
  • Bunkspeed
  • Cinema4D
  • Autodesk


  • Report on the VR Symposium, Heidelberg Germany
  • Report from the RTT Excite in Munich (German)
  • Imagina 2012 : The European 3D Simulation & Virtualisation Technologies Event