Combining Microchips, Virtual Reality, and 3D Printing
In a world harnessing interconnectivity, cyclical production and enhancement is inevitable. Improvements in one area rapidly translate into other areas, wholly increasing innovation. These improvement cycles can be seen in many industries, but are particularly observable within the manufacturing and technological industries. Large and small companies such as Angle Technologies, Microsoft, AMD, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Autodesk have been advancing microchip, virtual reality (VR), and 3D printing (3DP) through competition and cooperation, as each component benefits the other.
Through breakthroughs in chip creation and utilization, VR research is solving basic performance and speed problems. Improved VR provides a fluid artificial workshop where designers create and visualize prototypes that are interpreted by 3D printers. Intricate communication between 3DP and VR leads to actualization of complicated and miniature creations such as microchips. This cycle is not only an example of our interconnected world, but the cycle is improving an industry whose mission (one of many) is the expansion of interconnectivity.
Microchips Improve Virtual Reality Processing
VR companies are battling with the end of Moore’s Law and microchips. Moore’s Law has seen fruition since its creation as microchip progress has doubled almost every year. New technologies and materials have spurred an almost ridiculous microchip innovation rate until recently. In response, they have successfully experimented with transitioning processing tasks from the CPU to GPUs.
According to Google chip engineer, Norm Jouppi, “Some people call it the end of Moore’s Law. I like to call it the retirement of Moore’s Law, because it’s not totally dead yet but it’s definitely not working as hard.” Coupled with the need for smaller, faster microchips for VR technology, the push to GPU processing has seen promising results. VR headsets need to be light and research has been pursuing VR gear that isn’t reliant on a connection with a computer. VR processing occurs in real-time, so VR companies are eradicating ping time. Designers that work with 3DP have used VR advancements to create virtual workshops to visualize prototypes.
VR-3D Printing Integration
Trends favor 3DP, and VR innovation further support its utilization. 24% of global companies have used 3DP, and 71% of the manufacturing industry has already implemented 3DP. Manufacturing companies, such as BAE Systems, use VR to virtually design prototype parts for aircraft without creating a tangible model. This severely cuts down costs and labor, and seamlessly integrates with 3DP technology.
Designers, manufacturers, architects and radiologists uses 3D printing to increase efficiency and improve performance. Many of these professionals also use VR technologies, where in the virtual workshop, they can run prototypes through simulations and ensure they are acceptable. Once they have been approved, the virtual prototype can be immediately saved as an object file and created by a 3DP. As 3DP becomes more usable and teachable, companies can produce more complex objects – objects such as microchips.
3DP’s creation of microchips completes the cycle, but there is more interconnectivity between the three components. Better VR technology can be sculpted by 3DP, and VR workshops can help IT professionals visualize and construct intricate microchips. The means and ends of their complimentary relationship have already improved multiple areas such as the medical and military fields. Professionals are predicting a global adoption of VR along with GPU implementation and 3DP. Soon, they will be common tools instead of futuristic technology.