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Use for University research/engineering

edited September 2016 in Questions And Answers

I am a student researcher with the University of California, Davis - at our Biological and Agricultural Engineering department. I have long been interested in tools that could aid students and our staff/professors in doing what we do, which is building devices that aid in the biological and agricultural processes. As we do things through engineering, we use CAD everyday, for almost everything. Are there apps that could aid in building things drawn in CAD? For example, my lab is currently building a walnut drying system, which requires hundreds of pieces. Is there an app or experience on the HoloLens that could take a CAD drawing, recognize real world pieces (like a block of wood), recognize shop machines (like a drill press, or Ellis cutting machine), and aid researchers in cutting or building precisely (or even building 3D models to print)?

If so, is there a place to request Microsoft for a case study with our University?

If not, are there developers looking in to this?




  • Hi, I saw your lonely post and, though it's been a while and I don't have a ton of info, I thought that I'd share what little I know.

    I've done R&D at my work with 3D graphics to model conveyors and baggage. I created models in 3ds Max and imported.

    When the HoloLens came out, I was eventually able to import models (I think that I may have converted to the OBJ format and included those in my c++ project), though I only rendered. That is, I didn't move bags around. I was just proving concept and I didn't have unlimited time.

    I believe that if your CAD objects are 3D and you can export them, then you'll be able to view them in the HoloLens, and Microsoft is advocating this application (using the HoloLens for CAD work).

    I can warn you that, in my experience, many polygons may weigh down your render speed.

    I don't fully understand your goal, but from your post I'm gathering that you want help with spatial visualization, seeing whether things fit and how they're related spatially. You may want to make components translucent or make their opacity adjustable, and you may want to do collision detection and highlight with color (like red) to indicate overlaps. You may want to be able to turn on/off whether components can pass through one another.

    I found it a bit hard to precisely control motion with hand gestures, but I think that there are ways to manage this. Some apps use a 3D cursor which follows gaze and adheres to the surface of the nearest virtual surface in the line of sight, and this works, but it's still not finely controlled. I wouldn't expect to manipulate pieces as though you were holding them unless the tracking improves.

    Here are a couple links which might be helpful or interesting:



    I hope that there was something useful in my post for you.

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