Virtalis ActiveCube with Visionary Render for Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
Berlin’s Beuth University of Applied Sciences has just installed a Virtalis ActiveCube display system, two ActiveDesks with z-Spaces and a suite of Virtalis’ Visionary Render VR software.
To receive funding for the VR technology, the Department of Mechanical Engineering submitted a competitive bid to the Hochschule and was one of four projects chosen.
“VR for teaching was our first ambition”, explained Prof. Dr. Joachim Villwock, who had been impressed by a VR CAVE he had seen at The University of Aachen. “I spotted that VR is first and foremost a communication tool. One of the main reasons we chose Virtalis was its easy-to-use VR software which will allow students to take CAD models from SOLIDWORKS, AutoCAD or Inventor and create their own VR models.”
Beuth University commissioned a three-sided ActiveCube 3D VR projected display system consisting of two wall screens plus a floor. The projection is provided by three Barco F50 projectors and is fully tracked by an ART Trackpack System. Student groups of 22 will be split to work on either the ActiveCube or the ActiveDesks.
“Study the future” is the motto of the state-run Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin. Situated in the middle of Berlin, it offers the largest engineering-scientific study program in Berlin and Brandenburg. With over 12,000 students, the Beuth University is one of Germany’s largest universities of applied sciences.
Academics and students work closely with industrial partners, Rolls-Royce Deutschland and BSH Home Appliances, who both deploy VR technology. Rolls-Royce Deutschland also has a Virtalis ActiveCube. Prof Villwock said: “As a result of seeing VR in these industrial settings, I knew exactly what we were looking for. We can apply mathematical processes to simulate what we want to visualise.”
“We are simulating highly fractal water flow within complex geometries”, commented Pierre Sabrowski, a postgraduate student within the Department. “Using Computational Fluid Dynamics, we are looking at the sedimentation of waste water, as well as the fluid dynamics within washing machines. The flow results can sometimes be hard to understand, since the vital free surface of the flow can evolve complicated three-dimensional shapes. VR allows the viewer to understand and interpret those complex fractal flow phenomena quicker”. The students are attempting to develop an algorithm to help washing machine users to choose the mix of textiles to put together to make an optimum washing machine load, so resources are conserved. Refinements such as these will be incorporated into the next generation of washing machines.
Other departments, including Mathematics, Informatics and Life Sciences will soon be developing their own VR use-cases within the University. “Scalability is really important within all disciplines. We can use VR to analyse how well an assembly is designed and, in Life Sciences, VR allows the user to shrink down for an appreciation of how structures are interrelated.”
Virtalis is additionally developing a special module of Visionary Render for the visualisation of flow simulation. “We’ve yet to integrate our new VR capability into our teaching programme”, said Prof Villwock, “as we have yet to develop the training, but our students are getting a preview, so they can see how they will work with VR. In the meantime, our industrial partners are using the Virtalis ActiveCube and Visionary Render for mock-ups of assembly processes and the visualisation of flows.”