Comparison of Non-Nominal Geometry Models Represented in Physical Versus Virtual Environments
Paper in proceedings, 2003
In the automotive industry today, virtual geometry verification activities are conducted with nominal models in the early design phases. Later in the design process when the first physical test series are made, are concepts verified in a non-nominal manner. Errors detected at this stage can result in expensive post-conceptual changes. By combining Computer Aided Tolerance (CAT) simulation tools with Virtual Reality (VR) tools, virtual environments for non-nominal geometry verification can be utilized. This paper presents the results from a study, conducted at Volvo Cars, that investigates the perceptional aspects that are related to verification of quality appearance, using non-nominal virtual models. Although a realistic non-nominal model is created, the interpretation, i.e. how the model is perceived, must be clarified. This would represent a validation of the model from a perceptional point of view. Since the effect of geometric variation is a specific application, with high demands on realistic and detailed representation, perceptional studies are needed to ensure that VR and other virtual representations can be used for this kind of application. The question is whether it is possible to evaluate aspects like flush, gap and see-through in virtual environments. In this paper, two environments are compared, one physical and one corresponding virtual environment. Three adjusted physical vehicles are mapped to the virtual environment and compared using non-immersive desktop VR in a visualization clinic with test subjects from the automotive industry. The study indicates that virtual objects are judged as less good looking compared with physical objects. There is also a higher degree of uncertainness when judging virtual objects.