Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

College of Engineering and Technology

Committee Member

Emad Y. Tanbour, PhD

Committee Member

Kasim Korkmaz, PhD

Committee Member

Huei Lee, PhD

Committee Member

Dorothy McAllen, PhD

Committee Member

MacArthur Stewart, PhD


Manufacturing applications of virtual reality (VR) technology are growing. The challenge is to design, implement, and integrate VR simulation for manufacturing systems that improves the effectiveness of the planning process. This dissertation provides the industry with the technical infrastructure necessary to design a high-fidelity, collaborative virtual manufacturing planning system. It introduces the VR setup, the VR planning process, and the use of integrated hardware and software to produce high-fidelity simulations. The dissertation also provides a framework and set of guidelines for the architecture of the VR system. The framework is demonstrated by a high-fidelity VR simulation of a stamping process. The demonstrated product is an inner panel of an automotive front door. The VR simulation presents a method of visualizing computer-aided engineering content. A novel comprehensive framework and scales for the fidelity evaluation of VR systems is also presented. In this work, VR applications in manufacturing are analyzed, and future VR opportunities and challenges are also presented.

Objective evaluation of the VR simulation was conducted using the fidelity framework and the scales, whereas the subjective evaluation methods used were VR-simulation-driven data interpretation. The VR simulation was evaluated by a selective sample of senior engineering students using a highly reliable scale (Cronbach’s Alpha = .93) questionnaire that was designed to evaluate functionality, performance, and experience. The results of the subjective evaluation validate the evaluation of objective scales to be high-medium for the VR system used (M = 12.91, M = 5.11) respectively. Significant positive relationships were found between all factors, except distraction, which had a significant negative relationship with fidelity. Overall, the realism and sensory systems factors were found to be the main significant factors affecting the fidelity of the VR system.

Included in

Engineering Commons