Design Review Coming Up? Make It Unforgettable

**Guest post by Anthony Bayerl, EAC

I’ll go out on a limb to say that everyone’s had an idea wither and die because of lackluster delivery. This isn’t a big deal if it’s something like whether or not friends pick your suggested venue for a night out on the town. But, for the engineer or designer it can be a very big deal.

 Hours...days...weeks...or even months can be spent working on a design for a new product. In some organizations multiple teams may even ‘compete’ to deliver the design that goes to production instead of the trashcan – and it all comes down to the presentation.

 So how do you make your design cut through the clutter and stand out? Add some ‘wow’ factor.

 A Design Review with “Wow”

Recently I was part of a design review with our engineers. They were presenting different approaches to solve a problem for one of our customers. It was a series of the typical design presentation: PowerPoint, screen grabs, talking, drawing on the whiteboard...rinse and repeat.

 Then a designer came in and slapped a two-inch hexagon printed on a piece of paper down on conference room table. What came next changed everything.

 Rather than looking at a screen I was asked to grab an iPad and point it at the hexagon or "ThingMark" on the table. All of a sudden the design was in front me, setting on the table.

 Augmented reality experience

An iPad recognizes the small ThingMark on the sheet of paper, and overlays the scene with a 3D model users can see in a real-world setting.

 This new approach allowed me to interact with the design like never before. I was walking around the model, zooming and panning, and looking inside the part.

 Augmented reality brought the design review (and the people in the room) to life.

 Keeping Great Designs Out of the Trash Bin

There were a lot of good ideas presented that day, but one stood out among the others. If you want to keep your design ideas in production and out of the trash bin, maybe it’s time to consider changing the way you present your designs. Augmented Reality or AR is a great way to engage people with your ideas and add a lot of ‘wow factor’ to your design reviews.

 It’s probably worth looking into whether your design tool as something like AR publishing built in.

 I don’t want this post to be an advertisement, but I did ask the designer what it took to create the AR experience he brought to the meeting. He told me he’s been working in Creo 4.0 and it only took a few clicks to place a digital version of the ThingMark into his model and then publish the experience.

 Step stool model in Creo interface

A 3D model presented within a 3D CAD package. With a few clicks, the designer generated the ThingMark that allowed any iPad with a free ThingWorx app to see the model in any real-world scene.

Attend the Webcast

If you have access to Creo 4.0, I suggest trying out the AR functionality. If you’re not using Creo 4.0, then I encourage you to watch this webinar to see what I’m talking (typing) about.

Have you used AR in anything like a design review or to give a kick to a customer engagement? If so, let me know in the comments below.

 Anthony Beyerl


About the author: Guest author Anthony Bayerl is a marketing manager for PTC partner EAC. He has been described as “a tall order of creative with a heaping side of left-brain organization and structure.” He enjoys design, figuring out systems, helping good people do great things, beer, motorcycles, and family.