It's no secret that the enterprise sector is hot for augmented reality, but the move into the enterprise AR software market by one of the biggest names in industrial engineering announces the technology's arrival loud and clear.
On Monday, Siemens Digital Industries, the industrial software solutions arm of Siemens AG, announced the latest version of its Solid Edge 3D industrial design software, which includes augmented reality among its newest features.
In Solid Edge 2020, enterprise users get to view design models in their physical space. This offers the potential for internal teams to better collaborate on prototype designs and better facilitate the presentation of work product to suppliers and customers. The software also supports simulation of motion and vibration.
"The latest enhancements to the Solid Edge portfolio can help small to medium-sized manufacturers digitalize their entire product development process from end-to end," said John Miller, senior vice president, mainstream engineering at Siemens Digital Industries Software in a statement. "We continue to work on providing an advanced portfolio of affordable and easy-to-use tools to help our customers with their digital transformation, so they can reduce costs and accelerate product delivery."
To share 3D models with others, users upload their CAD models to the Solid Edge web portal and generate a QR code for the model. The recipient then scans the QR code with the Solid Edge Mobile Viewer app for iOS or Android to view the model in AR. In addition, users can export designs as OBJ files to view via HoloLens, Magic Leap One, or other AR systems.
"Sharing designs in AR/VR with Solid Edge 2020 could change how we do almost everything. It's an absolute game changer and will help us design better while communicating more effectively and efficiently with our customers and engineers," said Stefan Islinger, information management in the IM-CAD support department for Krones AG, a German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer.
Siemens has been a big proponent of AR in its role an early adopter and an investor in the space. In recent years, the company has deployed Daqri Smart Helmets as well as Scope AR's platform for training and operational efficiency purposes. Also, the company's investment arm, Next 47, participated in a $30 million funding round (see the 10 biggest AR funding deals of 2018) into AR headset maker Varjo.
Augmented reality is a natural fit for engineering and design work, and Solid Edge is among the top 3D CAD options. Adding AR to the software may soon push competitors like Autodesk to do the same.