Real-time 3D technology in industry, explained

Explore how technology forged in gaming is driving innovation across industries. Take the first step toward preparing your CAD and 3D data for real-time 3D with Pixyz Studio.

See what's possible with real-time 3D

Watch this one-minute video to see the power of real-time 3D for changing how products, buildings, and infrastructure are designed, engineered, built, sold, and serviced.

What is real-time 3D?

With real-time 3D software, fully interactive, 3D models, environments, and entire virtual worlds can be digitally rendered faster than the blink of an eye – a significant advantage compared to traditional content-creation tools.

Once real-time 3D content is created, it can be deployed to mobile devices, computers, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, and other platforms. Real-time 3D offers end users a fundamentally more engaging and immersive experience than non-interactive, static content.

Real-time 3D experiences are fundamentally:

  • Immersive, because the digital representation of reality is lifelike and approaches the authenticity of our analog experience of reality, and
  • Interactive, because users have precise control over their experience, much like a video game.

While there are limitless ways to leverage real-time 3D, most industry users employ it to visualize data and build realistic, dynamic experiences from 3D models, such as computer-aided design (CAD) assemblies. These interactive digital twins of physical products open opportunities to enhance processes and workflows across the business, from research and development (R&D) all the way through to operations.

Pixyz Studio

Real data for real-time 3D

The metaverse – the next generation of the internet – offers a range of exciting applications powered by real-time 3D, including digital twins, 3D configurators, and AR/VR experiences. Optimized 3D models are required to support these interactive experiences, but CAD’s density, complexity, and format make it challenging to unlock for these purposes.

Data optimization solutions such as Pixyz Studio bridge the worlds of design software and interactive visualization. These solutions translate CAD files that rely on exact parametric surfaces (called BREP or NURBS) into triangular representations of 3D objects (called mesh data) that can properly support interactivity on mobile devices, PCs, and AR/VR devices.

The business impact of real-time 3D

Industrial companies face no shortage of challenges in driving profitable growth – designs are getting more complex, production timelines are getting tighter, and buyers are getting more selective.

Companies using real-time 3D can better navigate these challenges. Research shows real-time 3D unlocks the following benefits:

  • Cost savings from, for example, reducing reliance on expensive physical prototypes and catching design and engineering flaws earlier
  • Faster time to market by condensing R&D timelines, training automated systems in simulated environments, and other improvements
  • Improved product margins by increasing workforce productivity, performing aftermarket services more reliably and quickly, and so on
  • Increased sales by presenting products in compelling ways beyond traditional multimedia formats

Top uses of real-time 3D

Applications for real-time 3D technology run the gamut, from the initial stages of R&D all the way through to aftermarket sales – and everything in between.

Some examples across the product and building lifecycles include:

Design and engineering

Common use cases: Virtual prototyping and commissioning, immersive design reviews, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) visualization, autonomous system simulation, human-machine interface (HMI) development, etc.

Real-world example of real-time 3D: Volvo Cars improves design-engineering collaboration with virtual car experiences.

Construction and manufacturing

Common use cases: Technician training, AR-guided assistance, digital factory simulation, virtual assembly process validation, construction sequencing, etc.

Real-world example of real-time 3D: SHoP Architects and JDS Development Group use real-time 3D digital twins to envision skyscrapers before they’re built.

Sales and marketing

Common use cases: Virtual events, interactive product configurators, photorealistic renderings, sizzle videos, mixed reality shopping experiences, etc.

Real-world example of real-time 3D: Tier 1 automotive supplier Brose Group saves months of time and hundreds of thousands in production costs with real-time 3D marketing. 

Service and operations

Common use cases: Remote maintenance, AR-based guidance, safety training, real-time digital twins for sensor/data simulation and visualization, etc.

Real-world example of real-time 3D: Vancouver International Airport (YVR) improves operations and sustainability with a digital twin of its airfield and terminal.

The value of extending real-time 3D across the business

Real-time 3D addresses challenges across the entire lifecycle, ensuring products are better designed, engineered, manufactured, sold, and serviced. A study by Forrester Consulting commissioned on behalf of Unity found that:

Most adopters are already using real-time 3D across multiple touchpoints in the business … [They] find that the more places … they implement real-time 3D, the more seamlessly these processes are integrated as it provides a more interactive medium for collaboration and communication.

Indeed, 90% of companies using real-time 3D find it valuable for supporting interdepartmental collaboration. There’s a reason for that: Once models exist in a virtual environment, they can be extended for any use case across the business.

That means virtual models used in the design studio can also be leveraged by the production team to place assembly instructions into AR, as well as the marketing team to create high-fidelity, interactive content. These synergies speed up the entire product lifecycle and reduce inefficiencies from traditional waterfall-style handoffs between departments.

Real-time 3D demos

Seeing is believing – check out our demos to experience this transformational technology for yourself.

Skid Loader GX7 configurator

This fully customizable configurator of a GX7 Skid Loader showcases the possibilities of interactive marketing powered by real-time 3D.

Luxury chair configurator

An interactive brand demo illustrates how real-time 3D marketing can showcase consumer products in stunning visual quality on the web.

Operational digital twin

Learn how connecting and visualizing multiple data sources in real-time can help you operate and maintain a site remotely.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Visit our cookie policy page for more information.

Got it