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The impact of virtual reality on collaborative design reviews


Design review is a crucial activity during product development that aims to evaluate the current state of the product and plan for future activities. As it is common to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools for creating 3D digital models during product development, CAD is also often used in design reviews. With the development of new technologies, Virtual Reality (VR) has become a popular way of displaying 3D models. By stimulating sensory cues such as stereopsis and motion parallax, VR offers a higher immersion in the virtual environment where the CAD model is placed. However, existing research suggests that the use of VR can have a positive impact only on specific aspects of design reviews. Therefore, this study investigates the effects of immersion on verification (evaluating compliance with existing technical requirements) and validation (evaluating compliance with user needs) design reviews. The analysis was conducted on an experiment in which 14 four-member teams reviewed digital models of baby strollers. Each team consisted of two reviewers (industry experts) and two designers (students). They conducted one verification and one validation design review session using CAD tools (Onshape, Siemens NX) in one of two environments: a traditional computer interface (mouse, keyboard, monitor) or a VR environment (HTC Vive head-mounted display). The results suggest that VR can improve both types of design review sessions, but it is more suitable for validation sessions. Additionally, teams discussed more topics related to the session's goal in verification reviews but discussed more issues and actions related to design flaws during validation reviews. Finally, reviews of higher-quality (better-rated) designs have been characterized by a higher percentage of topics related to design flaws, while reviews of lower-quality designs have been characterized by a higher percentage of topics related to the session's goal. These results show that there are potential benefits to using VR instead of CAD interfaces for design reviews, especially when evaluating user needs.



Marko Brnčić




Rector award


Fakultet strojarstva i brodogradnje Sveučilišta u Zagrebu


Marko Brnčić - Project PDF