Integrative Virtual Prototyping

We develop a “simulation toolkit” which links classic “research silos” into virtual laboratories.

Toward Coherent Technology

Design and development have undergone dramatic changes in the last decades influenced especially by computerization and automation. Recent years have seen an increasing reliance on virtualization and distributed design, testing, and production.

This trend has the potential to turn our planet into a single global factory in which products are developed by virtual prototyping. Integration – physical, temporal, and conceptual – assumes major importance in many aspects of the field. Our vision as the technology evolves is to reconcile the problems and solution concepts into a new paradigm.

Interaction Instead of Trial and Error

A fully integrative virtual prototyping paradigm has two principal aspects:

  • integration for increased insight and efficiency, and
  • integration for sustainability and interoperability.

Our vision is to unite what now are separate development and operational phases in new environments, ranging from a universal simulation infrastructure to production, operation, and recycling.

In this way, we work on ushering in a new era in which the virtual and physical worlds interact.

We invite you to read below thumbnail descriptions of the four key elements that go into our development of integrative virtual prototyping.

From heterogeneous development that impedes progress…
Traditional development cycles consist of stand-alone and sequential design, simulation, and visualization phases. These phases typically are carried out in heterogeneous environments, leading to further complications.

… to effective environments
By developing effective workflow concepts and environments for integrated and interactive prototyping, we can provide immediate control and feedback that, in turn, will support

  • human cognition,
  • accumulation of design experience.



Research Areas E, F

From redundancy and incompatibility…

Today’s research and development is hindered by incoherent and incompatible simulation technologies needing repeated remodelling and conversion.

… toward modular simulation technology
Instead, we develop a distributed software infrastructure that supports multi-physics multi-scale simulations, and unifies simulation, workflow, and visualization resulting in better

  • overall integration,
  • efficiency, and
  • reusability.



Research Areas A, B, C, D, E, F

From isolated analysis that obscures phenomena…
Virtual prototyping requires real-time analysis that allows immediate insights into complex ”big data.” Traditional visualization is conducted offline and post-simulation and only permits limited interactive analysis of mechanisms in isolation.

… toward revealing the unseen
We develop real-time visualization techniques for complex time-dependent data. Feature extraction capability helps guide focus on relevant detail and provides a basis for further analysis.



Research Areas E, F

From heterogeneous production that is difficult to manage…
Simulation technology in production planning to date has focused on subcomponents of machines and plants. This leads to distributed and inhomogeneous production, high initial costs and difficulty monitoring production runs.

… toward concurrent production
By integrating production tightly into the development cycle, SimTech aims to improve efficiency, cost, and environmental friendliness. This provides the basis for highly flexible production that can be reconfigured in  real-time.



Research Areas B, C, D


From decoupled design and operation …

From decoupled design and operation…
Operation and recycling are typically distinctly separate from design, simulation, and production. Explicit knowledge and data transfers between these domains

  • results in high cost and
  • reduces efficiency.

… to bringing it all together
In our research on the integration of simulations and sensor networks, the traditional boundaries between virtual and physical worlds and between development and production are erased.  

In combination with our research on intelligent materials, this has the potential of leading to self-configuring and holistic technology.



Research Areas C, E, G

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