Virtual Reality (VR) visualization of product data in engineering applications requires a largely manual process of translating various product data into a 3D representation.
Modern game engines allow low-cost, high-end visualization using latest stereoscopic Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) and input controllers. Thus, using them for VR tasks in the engineering industry is especially appealing.
As standardized formats for 3D product representations do not currently meet the requirements that arise from engineering applications, the presented paper suggests an Enhanced Scene Graph (ESG) that carries arbitrary product data derived from various engineering tools. The ESG contains formal descriptions of geometric and non-geometric data that are functionally structured. A VR visualization may be derived from the formal description in the ESG immediately. The generic elements of the ESG offer flexibility in the choice of both engineering tools and renderers that create the virtual scene.
Furthermore, the ESG allows storing user annotations, thereby sending feedback from the visualization directly to the engineers involved in the product development process. Individual user interfaces for VR controllers can be assigned and their controls mapped, guaranteeing intuitive scene interaction.
The use of the ESG promises significant value to the visualization process as particular tasks are being automated and greatly simplified.