Sujet de thèse : « Real-time information integration for preliminary design with interactive tools »


In current aeronautic and naval domain, interactive tools such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are mainly used during project review, training for assembly/disassembly and maintenance. Thus, these tools are late employed in product lifecycle and « static » model is studied during project review by the different stakeholders. Indeed, these meetings often lead to criticism and advices, which will be later considered by designers. The idea of this thesis, in order to be more proactive in early design stages, is to give the right information to the designer at the right time. To succeed, real-time information integration is required during preliminary design phases. Besides, the product lifecycle view needs to be rethought by integrating other phases constraints (like assembly, use or recycling phase) as early as possible.

Thesis objective

In current project, designer, structural expert and manufacturing expert work in a sequential manner on a 2D screen. Close collaboration is needed between project stakeholders, as well as more interaction and dynamic way of working. Augmented and virtual reality tools could be seen as a solution here. The term “augmented reality” refers to the direct or indirect view of a physical environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated content. Augmented worlds are generated in real-time and typically experienced via computer screens, projectors, or head mounted displays. Other tools enable improving interactivity and visualizing enriched models such as virtual tools.

The Design For X (DFX) tools need then to be implemented in the AR or VR environment to give information in real-time. The 3D computer model will be used to compute and analyze (e.g. assembly, cost, structure, manufacturing process) to propose suggestions for decision making. For instance, in Design For Assembly method (DFA), a model can be set and specific algorithm using mereotopology could enable checking the consistency of the assembly sequence, highlighting the interfaces and showing the swept volume of the part move during a sequence.

Therefore, the thesis objective is to ensure real-time processing of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and propose the information to designer associated to the right design phase. This development will be clearly seen as a virtual whisper to the designer. The integration of real-time expert knowledge to the designer enables the reduction of product development, as less iteration between project stakeholders. As a consequence, the product quality is improved.

Research activity organization

To solve this issue, the PhD Student should:

  • Make a state of the art in the field of design methodologies, augmented and virtual tools;

  • Select which information is going to be useful to designers (without losing him) and which tools would be the most appropriate one;

  • Continuously analyse constraints (e.g. assembly or structural) and link these constraints with the numerical model;

  • Integrate the right information at the right position or on the right part and at the right time on CAD tools;

  • Validate the design methodology and tool on an industrial case study, such as the ones encountered in the naval industry.

Required skills

  • Solid knowledge and special interest in Design For X methods and product lifecycle

  • Virtual reality, augmented reality and IT knowledge appreciated

  • Advanced level in English

  • Curiosity and proactivity

Practical information

Financial support from Arts et Métiers ParisTech

Position start at the second semester of 2019


Esplanade des Arts et Métiers, 33400 Talence

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