Augmented Reality-Based Product Validation to Support Collaborative Engineering of Complex Technical Systems
Within the course of a research project, a digital collaboration platform has been developed to exploit the potentials of Additive Manufacturing (AM). Potential users of AM and technology experts are digitally guided through the whole development process of individual AM components on the platform. This paper presents an Augmented Reality-based solution for interactive product validation across locations that supports the collaboration via the platform. It enables the efficient integration of the customer into the development. The solution consists of an AR application for the Microsoft HoloLens 2 for the customer and a visualization application for the expert. To enable a collaborative AR visualization, the two applications are networked and synchronized. 3D models of the developed components can be interactively visualized and experienced at the future application site. The expert can immerse into the customer's view and explain important aspects via audio communication and through interactive animations and further functionalities. On the other side, the customer can give feedback to the 3D model using gestures and speech control and point out aspects to be revised. The solution is integrated into the collaboration platform and the development processes. Based on use cases of two companies from different industries the solution has been evaluated and optimized. This ensures the practical applicability and a functional scope that meets the needs of the industry. Especially in times of Corona, Augmented Reality-based product validation is one way to let customers and developers work together efficiently across locations.