Software scoots into Second Life

04 March 2008

Siemens PLM has announced an interactive tool to create a custom 3D Razor scooter in Second Life.

There are over 12million residents of the 3D virtual world in the computer game Second Life. Siemens PLM Software, part of Siemens Industry Automation, uses its island in Second Life to collaborate with customers and partners in testing designs with end consumers in real-time.

Its Solid Edge software is a hybrid 2D/3D design system in the Velocity series. The interactive tool lets designers glimpse the use of 3D modelling software in product development. A transparent screen guides Second Lifers through selections to create a custom-built scooter in less than 60 seconds.

Siemens PLM Software was the first pure-play PLM (product lifecycle management) company to establish a presence in Second Life, identifying the potential early. Forrester Research described virtual worlds as being "on the brink of becoming valuable work tools" with advantages over the real world in terms of communication and collaboration. According to the report, virtual worlds like Second Life allow people to work with and share digital 3D models . "Surgeons, architects, enginers and product designers all use CAD models or ...visualisation systems to explore and create complex, real-world objects," the analysts conclude. In virtual worlds, near-final designs can be released to a limited group to solicit feedback before manufacture begins. According to Forrester, the 3D internet will be as important for work as the web within five years.

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