Did my first 3D-Design in VR
Last week I wrote an editor for moving pieces around with a 3D-connexion joystick. I used Unity3D and the program came out a bit crude, so I'm not sharing it. But I can tell, product design inside VR is going to be a huge domain for devices such as Vive or Oculus Rift..
I managed to examine my keyboard design as if it was in front of me. I just couldn't touch it, but I could see where every button lands. Above you see a layout I discarded because:
- The shaddle shaped surface would distance the keys from each other.
- It would make it hard to slam the shift with back of your hand.
- The layout would favor neutral hand position further from the center.
I ended up to position the keys on an inside of a torus segment, and raised the thumb-keys to allow easier reach to modifier keys.
To implement the layout, I wrote an application that imports it into Solidworks via their interoperability API. It was pain in the ass to do because the API is garbled to the point that I'm curious how they make sense of it themselves.
Solidworks API shows out how important proper versioning is for sustainable backwards compatibility. Since they haven't done so, they got these IComponent2, AddComponents3, and so on. Some of those old entries no longer work and it is problematic to figure out which works and which doesn't.
Once in Solidworks I needed to reposition my hand placed pieces to clean out the layout. Though now I can be sure the layout is plausible. I've seen how it looks when it's finished.
Although there's not much VR modelling software around yet. Modeling in VR is going to beat traditional methods of modeling pants down:
- It lets you make sense out of incredibly complex models.
- It is huge enough shift to make modeling software accessible for people who had trouble working on flat screens.