VSTEP, a Rotterdam based company creating virtual experiences, has recently launched its latest virtual walk-through technology to visualise new vessels and optimise the design process. The launch followed a pilot projects with leading shipyards and operators. The service allows naval architects and operators to experience the new vessel, as its users will, once the vessel has been built. As a result, the design process is optimised at an early stage, saving many man-hours and costs.
VSTEP has taken advantage of the rapid performance improvement of computer game technology to develop an interactive 3D tool to optimise the design process. The core of the tool is a precise 3D model of the vessel based on CAD files converted for gaming software. In a joint session, designers, builders and vessel operators walk through the virtual model of their own vessel in real time, using a joystick. Everything they see is as it will be when the vessel is completed. This virtual experience of their vessel allows them to identify areas for improvement, test alternative solutions and make changes on the spot. The technology is practical to test new bridge layouts, console designs, sightlines, equipment positioning and structural designs. It also allows design changes to be identified and made at an early stage in the design process, saving weeks of project time.