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MechDyne: Pioneer in Virtual Reality Collaborative Systems

MechDyne is a pioneering company that has spent the last twenty years refining techniques in how businesses and teams collaborate on projects. The company was founded in 1996 by Iowa State graduate, Dr. Chris Clover and executed with Jim Gruening and Kurt Hoffmeister.

The business model of MechDyne came together when they decided to combine the idea of engineering consulting service with simulations of car accident reconstruction. To cut-down on costs in designing the platform, they turned to the off-the-shelf PC. Now today, they not only benefit the automotive industry but also the construction, manufacturing, architectural, medical and other lateral industries.

This coalition of inexpensive hardware for providing consulting and collaborative simulations, was the birth of the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE). The Cave allows the users to project their Computer Aided Designs (CAD) onto a wall or three, as well as actually enter the same environment of their CADs utilizing a headset and hand controls.

4K projectors are implemented to display resolutions over 100 million pixels per wall. The CAVE system can create a immersive environment by utilizing up to 6 walls, creating a full 360 degree view of the CAD environment. Another benefit to the system is that allows passive viewing of these digital environments, which enables users to showcase and present the works to people of interest.

Through continued research and development, they created CAVE2. CAVE2 provides all the valuable benefits of CAVE, but on a cylindrical wall. This essentially provides a more realistic representation of your CAD environments. As said by Professor C. Paul Bonnington (Director of the Monash e-Research Centre), “The CAVE2 facility offer us the highest resolution and contrast, which enables us to investigate scientific data sets, and to search out and seek the unknown unknowns.” Both of these systems can be understood as virtual reality, which is getting widespread attention today. They’ve been pioneering this technology for some time now, with businesses and educational institutes from 6 different continents utilizing their CAVE system.

They also provide software solutions for transporting CAD files, power-points, videos, etc. to a external projection unit. One of which is CAVELib. CAVELib allows programmers to develop digital applications on Windows and Linux operating systems, without worrying about the complexities of virtual reality implementation. Complexities that includes stereoscopic 3D viewing configurations, multi-graphics channels displays or window and viewpoint creation. It does all of those calculations, allowing the programmers to focus more on CAD environment creation. To get a complete understanding of their solutions, you can learn more about their hardware and software products on their website.

British Petroleum, Hess, Renault, Houston Methodist Hospital and University of Birmingham are only a few businesses that have implemented MechDyne solutions. Even though MechDyne is a established business in innovative virtual reality solutions, they are still seeking out career minded people to contribute to their success. On a end-note, when virtual reality hits the mainstream, MechDyne will be one company to add to the list of pioneering VR developers.

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