Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have increasingly more important in industrial sectors. A London-based firm has now launched a VR technology enabling manufacturers to seize control of ‘overheating devices’.
A new industrial application area for Virtual Reality is thermal design analysis and optimisation, which promise to help manufacturers of industrial electronics bring the problem of overheating devices under control.
In the age of ultra-thin electronics, the need to cram increasingly powerful components into ever-smaller spaces has inevitably led to performance and reliability issues. As a result, thermal issues that reduce performance, impact reliability and make devices too hot to handle.
To tackle those crucial issues, London-based company Future Facilities has launched ‘Release 12’ of its leading thermal simulation software, 6SigmaET – which includes a prototype VR visualisation mode.
According to Future Facilities, it is the world’s first feature that offers an insight into the potential for VR to open up new possibilities for thermal design analysis and optimisation.
The main focus of development for Release 12 was improvements that enable faster and more accurate modelling. This has reportedly resulted in the addition of a series of new modelling objects, the ability to simulate heat radiation and solar radiation through transparent materials, and new leak detection functionality for liquid cooling systems.
Release 12 also features the ability to create DELPHI compact models and an expanded library with integrations to support updated fan models from Papst and interface materials from Parker Chomerics.
Data from across the organisations
These integrations aim to make it easier for thermal engineers to centralise data from across their organisation and their suppliers and create more accurate models.
Independent research has found that 6SigmaET already delivers a 35% increase in project efficiency, in terms of time, in comparison to other simulation tools.
Release 12 also offers usability and performance upgrades that further extend the speed benefits of 6SigmaET, including enhancements to the software’s multi-level unstructured staggered grid system with a new boundary cell reconstruction method for more accurate geometry capture and support for 3D mouse control to make model manipulation even faster.
Fixing design issues from the model’s inside
By connecting 6SigmaET with the Oculus Rift VR headset, Release 12 allows engineers to view and explore their models in virtual reality for the first time.
In future, engineers will be able to use VR to closely analyse and fix design issues from ‘inside’ their models, and Release 12 offers the first glimpse of the potential for this new design approach.
Tom Gregory, product manager at Future Facilities, said: “Ultimately thermal simulation users want faster, easier to use and more accurate tools – and we’re continually evolving 6SigmaET to keep our users ahead in a fast-paced market.
“As part of that, we think it is important to focus our development not only on immediate enhancements, but also look further ahead. So, while Release 12 features a number of improvements that respond directly to our customers’ specific needs, we’re also breaking new ground with our VR capabilities.
“Although VR is still an emerging technology for industrial applications, we think there is enormous potential for it to bring new value as a user interface. As such, we wanted to take the lead in the industry and start to explore that potential now.”