CAE/VR Integration - A Path to Follow? A Validation Based on Industrial Use
Numerical simulations have become crucial during the product development process (PDP) for predicting and validating different properties of new products as well as the simulation of various kinds of natural phenomena. Especially the engineering domain (CAE - Computer Aided Engineering), is seeking for new ICT solutions to cover broad ranges of physical simulations. Virtual Reality (VR) has matured in the past allowing a rapid consolidation of information and decision-making through visualization and experience. These new man machine interfaces offer advanced interaction possibilities with the digital domain and allow engineers to variate over several hypothesis. This enlightened ideas to deploy VR for "what-if-scenarios" also in the CAE domain. However, while CAD/VR integration has been sufficiently researched, the integration of CAE into VR is still facing a long road ahead. Despite recent criticism that the application of VR technology has been considered unnecessary in CAE, this paper aims to refute this by presenting methodologies for linear static FEM analysis allowing "what-if-scenarios" within interactive environments. It validates the elaborated methodologies and advantages of VR front ends by an evaluation performed within industrial engineering departments.