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Applications of Virtual Reality in Engineering and Product Design: Why, What, How, When and Where

Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
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Electronics 2020, 9(7), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9071064
Received: 1 June 2020 / Revised: 17 June 2020 / Accepted: 29 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
The research on the use of virtual reality (VR) in the design domain has been conducted in a fragmentary way so far, and some misalignments have emerged among scholars. In particular, the actual support of VR in early design phases and the diffusion of practices involving VR in creative design stages are argued. In the present paper, we reviewed VR applications in design and categorized each of the collected 86 sources into multiple classes. These range from supported design functions to employed VR technologies and the use of systems complementing VR. The identified design functions include not only design activities traditionally supported by VR, such as 3D modelling, virtual prototyping, and product evaluation, but also co-design and design education beyond the early design phases. The possibility to support early design phases by means of VR is mirrored by the attention on products that involve an emotional dimension beyond functional aspects, which are particularly focused on in virtual assemblies and prototypes. Relevant matches between VR technologies and specific design functions have been individuated, although a clear separation between VR devices and supported design tasks cannot be claimed.
Keywords: virtual reality; engineering design; product design; industrial design; virtual prototyping; 3D modelling; product evaluation; co-design; early design phases; technological development virtual reality; engineering design; product design; industrial design; virtual prototyping; 3D modelling; product evaluation; co-design; early design phases; technological development
MDPI and ACS Style

Berni, A.; Borgianni, Y. Applications of Virtual Reality in Engineering and Product Design: Why, What, How, When and Where. Electronics 2020, 9, 1064.

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