AR PRODUCT VISUALIZATION: 3D PRINTER
Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements (PIAP) was established in 1965. Research work on new technologies carried out at the Institute is usually combined with design of equipment and production lines. The Institute’s activity is aimed at direct implementation of research achievements in industry.
AR & MR
ARKit / ARCore
Provide a virtually tangible and realistically presented mode of operation
The client needed an AR product visualization app to be used during a trade fair. The basic idea was to show the visitors how a 3D printer device works. The challenge was to precisely reproduce the printer’s mode of operation by creating animations of the entire process (e.g. opening of some elements). The goal was to provide the option to see the inside of the device.
The AR product visualization app itself was to scan a room’s surface with a smartphone’s built-in camera. Next, a virtual printer model was to be generated in the scanned area. The main objective was to enable visitors to the fair to come up and look closely at the 3D printing process.
AR product visualization: Showcasing technological intricacies in an eye-catching way
The client provided reference materials in the form of photographs and videos of the printer. Then, our team used that data to create a complete and faithful model of the device. As an entity from outside the IT industry, the client was also particularly interested in obtaining eye-catching visuals for the AR product visualization.
We used the Scrum agile framework combined with regular stand-ups. Initially, the team worked on the basis of materials received from the client. Next, we organized regular feedback sessions, as a result of which there were constant improvements being made to the project.
The AR product visualizationapp uses surface scanning technology to generate a 3D printer model in the scanned area. The user can approach the device, look closely at the printing process, press virtual buttons and watch an animation of the printer in operation. Although the user has no influence on the animation itself, it is possible to view the components of the device from the inside.
Small but mighty: printing technology worthy of the future
Industrial 3D printers are small, portable devices, but their potential is virtually limitless.
Apart from its educational value, the AR product visualization app we prepared also supports marketing and sales activities. It does so by making it possible to display an object in real space and in a natural scale, and then to freely position it and watch its operation. An optional feature to consider in this particular case would also be the possibility to change the 3D printing material showcased in the app.
In fact, this type of application is able to present various specialist devices – which are often difficult to transport – at trade fairs or meetings with customers. Additionally, the generated 3D object is fully interactive and can contain any number of programmed functionalities: a pop-up user manual, device maintenance methods, replacement of certain parts, etc. In short, the AR product visualization app is able to show everything that should be included in the technical and operational documentation of specialist equipment. It can be seen pretty much as a one-stop solution in this regard.
Unity in diversity: augmented reality technologies support industrial innovation
The project involved no backend. We designed the AR product visualization app using Unity 3D, with some elements being coded in C#. The graphics were done using Photoshop and Blender. We also used ARKit and ARCore to complete the task and test out various aspects of the app.