A Study on the Feasibility of Using Virtual Prototype in Design Evaluation: A Hair Dryer and a Computer Worktable as an Example
|關鍵字:||虛擬實境;產品設計;原型;設計評估;virtual reality;product design;prototype;design evaluation|
In product design process, we have to evaluate various ideas developed from time to time. Also, at the final stage, we must examine the formal, functional and ergonomically aspects of the design alternatives for further improvements and making final decision. In these evaluations, we conventionally count on the expressive tools of either renderings or prototypes. However, as renderings are 2-D drawings, they can't vividly simulate the 3-D products to be built. On the other hand, although prototypes, if well fabricated, can perfectly simulate real products, it may cost much and be difficult to construct. Thus, in the study, we have explored the feasibility of using virtual prototypes in design evaluation. For the consideration of different product sizes, two product designs, a computer worktable and a hair dryer, have been designed in this study. In each product, these design alternatives were selected for evaluation. These design alternatives were presented in 4 kinds of expressive media: rendering, real prototype, computer 3-D modeling and virtual prototype for evaluation. Basically, the evaluation of ergonomics and operation will be discussed too. The results indicated that the application of virtual reality, based upon the current facilities defined in the study, generally perform better in the small-size electronic products, the hair dryer, during the latter stage of product development procedure, the evaluation of the idea embodiment. The significant effect of application of virtual reality large-scaled product; a computer worktable, however, was not evident. In addition, virtual prototype performs better in discriminating the functional evaluation. Generally speaking, the affectivity of virtual prototype in transmitting comprehension, falls between physical prototype and computerized 3D model. The qualitative experiment of hair dryer reflected that virtual prototype performed significantly better in the evaluation of single case comparison. Compared with the physical prototype and computerized models, the distribution pattern of time axis in virtual prototype was more centered and orderly (A→B→C case). On the other hand, focus of the evaluation of form lasted long to the middle to latter development stage in the application of virtual prototype. Moreover, the evaluation of handle design was emphasized. In the initial stage along the time axis, the evaluation handle design was first performed. The group evaluation, when virtual prototype was applied, put much emphasis upon mechanism, manufacture, and overall consideration. In most cases, there would be a subject in the team that would act as the dominant decision maker.
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