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VR sketching: reduce cost, accelerate & de-risk

Lucas Van Dorpe

Industrial Designer
Developing a new product or service is expensive. Virtual Reality is becoming more and more accessible. Here’s how we make use of VR to lower the cost, accelerate and de-risk your innovation project.
Common hurdles
Design is about having good ideas, but also about understanding and manoeuvring complex systems. Here are some common issues every design leader will recognise:
  • Physical prototyping is slow and costly.
  • Verifications can often only be done later in the design process.
  • Validating concepts is difficult in the early stages of design, leading to baseless decision-making.
  • Communication about early concepts is often difficult, especially towards third parties or end users
Here at Achilles, we assist our clients with 25+ years of design expertise. We have a lot of experience dealing with these hurdles and employ tried-and-tested tools and methods to overcome them. Virtual Reality is one of those tools on our toolbelt.    
The benefits of VR

Reducing costs

VR allows for virtual prototypes to be created, assessed and edited rapidly. Prototypes can be experienced no matter what scale, as the virtual world is not bound by the laws of nature. Being able to prototype more rapidly than ever before, the need for physical prototypes is cut in half. Material costs are also greatly reduced as objects can endlessly be created, duplicated and edited. Have a look at these cases to see how VR was used to greatly reduce prototyping costs:

Accelerating innovation

Sketching in Virtual Reality can help reduce the time between a first idea and a detailed product concept. Design solutions can be visualised transparently, early in the process. Clear communication is key for fast drafting and revisioning. Also, VR enables designers to explore styling in a much more free-form environment while still delivering high-quality 3D models at a rapid pace. The hardware became affordable and easy to work with and tools for creating VR experiences are plenty available. Today, operating a VR headset is as easy as using a smartphone.

Decreasing risk

The best way to reduce risk in a design process is to verify. One way of doing this is to create immersive environments and enable collaboration between our clients, designers and end-users. With Virtual Reality, this can be done quicker, more cost-effective and much earlier in the design process. VR supports communication and understanding by presenting an unambiguous, immersive and scale-accurate environment. Take a look at these cases to see how VR supports design insights:
About Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has become much more accessible thanks to mass market adoption. Headsets are now affordable, offer high-quality experiences and cause minimal nausea. At Achilles, we collaborate with Gravity Sketch to bring the power of VR sketching to your innovation project.

Collaboration in VR: Gravity Sketch

We collaborate with Gravity Sketch: An intuitive VR design tool that enables designers, clients and other stakeholders to create and verify designs in the virtual world. It is an incredibly fast concept drafting tool that offers many benefits over 2D sketching or CAD design. Thanks to Co-Creation, up to 10 colleagues can enter the same design room to communicate, create and verify designs together.

Aeroplane XR

We have been able to offer our clients high-quality Virtual Reality experiences, thanks to the collaboration with our spin-off Aeroplane XR. Aeroplane XR has created several experiences for clients like Audi, Imec and Reynaers Aluminium for over 3 years. They have also launched a platform for education in traffic safety. Thanks to mobile, untethered VR headsets, children can ride around on virtual bikes through a virtual town, filled with simulated traffic situations.

Truly mobile

One major development is the launch of untethered headsets. These are virtual reality headsets that offer high-quality, immersive experiences without the need for any cables, external sensors or a PC. They can be used at any location: in our offices or at your site; at the desk or in a large empty room. Take a look inside one of our design rooms:
VR Sketching courses
Achilles Design is at the forefront of Virtual Reality in product, service and brand design. We offer our clients high quality experiences in VR through our spin-off Aeroplane XR. Soon, we will also be offering courses on 3D sketching in Virtual Reality. These presentations and workshops by Industrial Designer Lucas Van Dorpe will have you experiencing the power of VR sketching for yourself. You will discover Virtual Reality as a tool for:
•   Design Sketching and Styling
•   Rapid Prototyping and Mock-up Building
•   Scenario Writing and Storytelling
•   Effective Design Collaboration
Are you interested in a collaborative VR sketching course by Industrial Designer Lucas Van Dorpe?

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Lucas Van Dorpe

Industrial Designer

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