Verification of expected functionality, collision-free states, as well as prediction of future possible failures based on data from working components may save a lot of money, time, nerves and worries coming in later stages of prototyping, implementation and operation. Basic collision checks, stress calculations and animations can be performed directly in engineering softwares such as Autocad Inventor, however once there is need to do optimizations and prototyping above more simultaneously working interconnected sub-tools and machines, it is usually necessary to work with suitable softwares. One option is Perspective software that works in conjunction with the game engine Unity.
Principle of simulations with Prespective
Prespective software simplifies the creation of simulations and tests performed in a virtual environment replicating behavior in the real world. You can imagine Prespective as an operating system for creating digital twins of physical components and environments.
Individual machines in the virtual model are directly taken over models from design and construction software, extended by defined degrees of freedom of movement, and connected with control software. The virtual environment also copies the behavior of the manipulated material, both in bulk, liquid and solid state. This allows 100% replication of the actual behavior of mechanical parts between the virtual model and real product.
Such environments can be further extended by external factors such as people or traffic. Such advanced tests and simulations provide even greater insight into the actual behavior on the workplace and allow to effectively simulate, test, repair, improve and optimize almost all aspects of the work. It all directly in the virtual space, before creating physical prototypes, connecting production machines and doing adjustments at the workplace.
Purpose of simulations with Prespective
The purpose of simulations in a virtual environment is to allow real-time testing and make initial prototyping more cost and time effective. Instead of doing tests on physical prototypes created based on CAD models, all tests and simulations can be performed right on the CAD models in the virtual environment reflecting real world.
Virtual verification of functionality
... in other words, verification of the proposed functionality of the machine and its movements based on the combination of work in the fields of mechanical engineering, mechatronics and software engineering. Thanks to the interconnection of the machine geometry and the control system, thetre's possible to see and control the movements and behavior of the system in various situations based on the selected data sets and scenarios. It is also possible to use the model to create an inverse kinematic system and an MDE toolkits.
Virtual prototypes created by connection of interactive CAD model with a control system allows simulate real behaviour in the virtual environment. Virtual prototypes can be connected to the same PLC control systems as hardware ones, however much faster, cheaper and without the risk of significant costs in the case of failure.
In the case of multiple moving parts in a shared space, it is always necessary to ensure the absence of collisions between individual objects, self-operating robots and partial collaborative production units. In the virtual space, there's allowed to very quickly and safely test various interactions within small and large collaborative units across different operation and production scenarios.
Easier optimization and training
Virtual simulations give a comprehensive detailed view of the cooperative operation of small and large production units. Thanks to this, it is easier to design the layout, supply, distribution and management leading to higher efficiency of the production workplace. The virtual model can also be used to train machine learning (AI) based control systems./p>
Presentation purposes and marketing
All simulations and modeling performed in Unity with Prespective software can be viewed on a classic screen (PC, mobile, tablet), but also through virtual and augmented reality. Apart to the presentation for the company board, it is therefore possible to use all outputs (especially animations), for example, for marketing and sales purposes.
Fields in which virtual simulations are used
Virtual simulation and visualization are suitable wherever it is necessary to test or visualize functional state of hitherto physically non-existent or non-operational machines, components and buildings.
Manufacturing companies, transport
Thanks to the connection with the Unity game engine, Prespective is a very versatile and stable tool for visualizing products, their movement, and creating interactive links within virtual production and transport units.
Construction and Infrastructure
Prespective simulations can help build safe, fault-tolerant structures. The virtual physically accurate environment allows to test various environmental influences acting on the finished building beyond the capabilities of common software.
The fully functional digital twin of real components allows comprehensive and predictive analysis. For example, an aircraft incorporated into Prespective technology would be able to predict future engine failures based on previous data it has collected.
Creation of virtual simulations with Prespective
The creation of simulations using components of the Perspective software is performed in the Unity game engine, for which Prespective is a verified solution provider. The advantage and at the same time the need to use the game engine instead of the classic design or computer software is the need to generate real-time state simulations with a frequency of at least 25 frames per second.
Specialized software is used for the complete design of components, during or after which they are simply imported into Unity, where the necessary simulations and visualizations are performed.
Unity contains many useful features such as realistic physics already in default, Prespective software then adds a number of features designed for creation of complex and realistic simulations, such as:
- Extension of physics to simulate Newton's laws
- Smart mechanism for importing and setting properties of 3D models (eg STEP files from SolidWorks)
- Creation of testing scenarios
- Multi-user browsing
- Logging of performed simulations
- Repetition of simulations with errors
A sample of other useful tools is provided on the Prespective website in the form of videos on the features overview page.
Procedure for creating virtual simulations
- Import CAD 3D models into Unity with active Prespective extension
- Select and define of individual components of the imported system
- Assign properties and behavior to individual system components
- Connect virtual digital model to control and communication system (PLC, IoT, MQTT)
- Perform tests and validations of various scenarios in a reality-accurate virtual environment