VR Technology is Changing the Way Engineers Think About Thermal Simulation

20 March, 2018

For a long time, virtual reality (VR) has been developed, packaged and marketed as a product for general consumption. But there have been few real successes for VR as a consumer product. Beyond some genuine applications within the gaming industry, it’s struggled to find a home – mostly being offered as a gimmick within marketing campaigns.

While the application of VR in industrial electronics is still in its infancy, we’re seeing a rising demand for VR systems in everything from aerospace manufacturing to the automotive industry to electronic design. As a result, the market is growing at a rapid rate – with VR opening up some intriguing opportunities for engineers in thermal simulation.

The use of VR can help engineers solve many of the key challenges they face, most notably: time and cost. By operating in the virtual space, engineers can alter their designs while they are still prototypes, instead of having to make late-stage alterations to a finished product. This reduces the length of testing stages, makes time-to-market targets much more achievable and reduces cost. While this is already being achieved in traditional 2D/3D thermal simulation suites, the addition of VR could expand the creative and experimental options available by giving engineers the ability to directly interact (or let others interact) with their design simulations.

To lead the way, and in an industry first feature, we’ve integrated VR technology into our thermal simulation suites. This allows engineers to export their designs to the Oculus Rift and observe the issues affecting airflow and cooling that leads to overheating from ‘inside’ their designs. Through this technology, 6SigmaET is opening up new approaches for thermal engineers to analyze and optimize their approach to thermal design.

This new technology is also allowing engineers to highlight potential thermal issues to those with non-technical backgrounds - allowing investors, managers and customers to view and easily understand complex technical concerns.

In thermal simulation, VR can provide engineers with greater insights into their products – allowing them to better understand some of the complex challenges that they face. Ultimately, this new perspective can help them approach these issues in unique ways; enabling them to design and build more robust products.

As a forward-thinking company, we always want to be on the cutting-edge of technology. For us, the importance of Release 12 is less about the specific inclusion of VR and more about how our technology can help thermal engineers think differently about their designs. The new version of 6SigmaET will help make that vision a reality, providing engineers with an entirely new perspective on thermal simulation.

Blog written by: Tom Gregory, Product Manager