Think Outside the Virtual Box

The VRTEX® 360 and VRTEX® Mobile are great tools for training traditional welding on both pipe and plate, but let’s try to think outside the virtual box. How can the VRTEX® family of virtual welding simulators be used to assist with design and manufacturing of a part or product? What can the VRTEX virtual system show us when designing and testing necessary weldments on parts? 

To answer these questions, you must think of the current design process.

  • The idea is created through necessity or innovation
  • Design is created using CAD or other computer programs (drafted) 
  • Models are created, then tested and reworked, if needed
  • Alpha run is created, tested and reworked, if needed
  • Beta run is created, tested and reworked, if needed
  • Final part is produced

What if we could remove or make a few of these steps easier or more cost effective using the VRTEX virtual reality welding simulator? What if we could also create known trouble areas that require extra attention?
The cost of materials used to design a product is constantly on the rise. But, the cost of using the VRTEX virtual simulator is about $.07 a kilowatt hour. The cost of nonmetallic materials such as cardboard or poster board is also very low. Why not design the model using a nonconductive, inexpensive material and test it on the VRTEX virtual reality welding simulator to see if the weldment can even be performed? This concept could reduce the redesign phase – time, consumed materials and not to mention the time it takes to have the welder try to weld the part. Using the VRTEX virtual reality welding simulator, one can test human capability on required weldments, saving time and money during the design phase. The evaluation screen can also show possible trouble areas during the welding process.






Let’s explore the possibility:
After the part has been designed, use the CAD drawing with part dimensions to create a mock part on the VRTEX virtual welding simulator.

   VRTEX CAD Drawing






Using the VRTEX coupon as the center point, create the mock up and design the part around the coupon. In this example the T-joint was used.

   VRTEX Coupon Mock Up





The next step is to have a welder attempt the needed weld in the virtual environment. Once the virtual weld has been completed, use the evaluation screen to check the validity of the capabilities of both the human welder’s capability and the designed part. The virtual evaluation can help assess if the part designed can be created successfully.

   VRTEX Screen





The example shows the right side of the weld may have design or welding technique issues that need to be addressed. For example, if the welder switched hands, the weld could potentially be completed without issue, as seen in the image below.

VRTEX Screen

The advantage to testing the designed parts weldability using the VRTEX virtual reality welder saves time and money. This example project was completed in about 30 minutes and cost about $.30. See what creative minds in your organization can come up with? To keep costs down, remember to use nonconductive material such as cardboard or foam board in your design.