Revista Digital Universitaria ISSN: 1607 - 6079 | Publicación mensual | 1 de mayo de 2013 vol.14, No.5
Virtual reality applications in mechanical and automotive
David Francisco Ramírez Muñoz
The use and application of technology and information resources, has grown in many areas of engineering and applied sciences, mainly in telecommunications, aeronautics and aerospace, but especially in the automotive area. In it, there are a variety of models and applications for automobiles, such as SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicle), ATVs, RVs (Recreational Vehicles), buses, trucks, motorcycles, those that are made for competitions as Grand Prix or Formula 1 and the prototypes of student projects within of universities, as Formula SAE®, which essentially, use the same operating principles.
Currently, globally there is a high demand of people in the use of automobile, which has generated a technological breakthrough, allowing more precise aim, focus and detail, that the market needs it required. In the design and innovation centers are defined, developed and manufactured, new trends of vehicles according to each requirement. This has grown exponentially, so has allowed to develop and build more effective systems, achieving that vehicles are more autonomous and intelligent, technologically safer, increasing passive and active safety in them, thereby, achieving that the automotive sector has increased demand, promoting the use of sustainable alternatives, responding and taking drastic measures in particular to important topics, such as environmental and ecological impact.
Therefore, thatautomotive industry, and mainly scientific research institutionsthat collaborate together therewith; invests heavily in the development of technology, innovation and research.Universities carry out the task to develop, enhance, test, experiment and implement scientific advances through these economic resources, that in some cases, large companies sponsor the projects to receive proposals more benefits and much more satisfactory results through of scientific development, this, in order to strengthen the areas of innovation, working together with experts, which favor the growth of new products, new technology, new patents, but above all, new design trends and in the automobiles’ manufacturing.
The field of automotive industry is one of the main research areas, where enterprises invest strongly in technological development and innovation. One of the keys as a tool in this sector, is the implementation and use of breakthrough technology in virtual environments, which reduce widely the costs and the new products design (as conceptual design and detail or final), costs in the manufacturing process, but above all, physical simulation and dynamic impact tests and mechanical strength through specialized CAE, CAD, CFD, FEA &CAM software. This perhaps, encourage the use of virtual reality tools within automotive field, so that will help to develop, modeling and characterize quickly, products and processes that will be required for development of a more effective way, preciseand improved, visualizing the final prototypes without having to manufacture them, generating savings in lean manufacturing and rapid prototyping.
Keywords: Ixtli Observatory; TIC; Formula SAE; FSAE; Virtual Reality; Visualization; CAD; Amira; Automotive Engineering; Unity.