Our Fujitsu workstation team started its VR journey about 3 years ago. At the Fujitsu Forum 2014 we created a 360-degree virtual drive through the Bavarian countryside. Since then much has changed in the VR landscape. Professional head mounted displays from Oculus and HTC have been brought to market, NVIDIA has launched several VR Ready graphics cards and we have delivered our VR Ready mobile and desktop workstations, advising our customers on the best possible solutions around VR.
We haven’t tackled the biggest challenge though – creating our own VR experience, understanding the difficulties customers can face when adapting their Computer Aided Design (CAD) models for use in VR. This is why we decided to create – using our own workstations – a fully-immersive VR tour through our brand-new workstation, the CELSIUS M770. What better way to showcase our new cable-free design and innovative new features, than by allowing customers to literally step inside a 2m scale VR model of the machine and watch it explode into individual components right in front of their eyes.
At Fujitsu, we use PTC Creo 3D modelling software for all our mechanical designs, including the design of our workstations. In our Creo design models, third-party components like GPUs, fans and hard drives are often represented by low-res proxies, so we needed to find a solution in order to enhance our dataset:
- Cables, for instance, were modelled from scratch.
- NVIDIA gave us a highly detailed 3D CAD model of its Quadro P6000 GPU.
- We scanned our motherboard with the help of APEC Visual.
The detailed model was then imported into Autodesk VRED. VRED can natively read / open PTC Creo data. It was therefore the ideal tool for us as it helped us to go back and forth during the process, validating the enhancements of the 3D data set.
To make the VR experience visually realistic, the accuracy of lighting and materials is of paramount importance. The Autodesk VRED team supported us here with a beautifully lit environment in which to place our workstation model.
We’re really proud of what we’ve produced and it’s been an amazing experience to better understand the needs of our customers when it comes to harnessing engineering content for VR. Our customers can witness first-hand the precision German design and engineering that goes into making all of our CELSIUS workstations:
- Open the front door
- Remove the air ducts for the storage devices
- Remove the Power Supply
- Remove the graphics cards
- Access the storage devices from the front (cold-plug technology)
Kudos to the student from our engineering team, Bera Kilin, for his outstanding support of this project.
Of course, writing about a VR experience is a bit like describing your favourite dinner – so we recommend you give it a go yourself. If you don’t have a VR headset you can still view it on screen, but why not visit Fujitsu Forum 2017, November 8 – 9, 2017, where you’ll be able to experience it first hand on some of the fastest workstations on the planet.