TAFE SA launches virtual reality ship building technology

Sep 15, 2020

In preparation for the upcoming workforce skills needs in the naval shipbuilding industry, TAFE SA has partnered with industry to create a Virtual Ship Engine Room to support ship building training at its Regency Campus.

In a cutting-edge partnership, TAFE SA has collaborated with Odyssee Aus Engineers to build a Virtual Ship Engine Room for computer-aided design (CAD) students to learn, work and gain valuable experience virtually.

The project works on a rendered version of the engine room so that students are able to use Virtual Reality goggles to explore the engine room in a 3D virtual environment and understand how their work fits in with the design of the whole vessel.

It is expected that this new training technology, which will be incorporated in learning activities in the Diploma of Engineering Technical, will attract a wave of young people to consider a career in 3D CAD for shipbuilding.

The CAD engine room immerses students in real-world shipbuilding scenarios and challenges them to design solutions for three different ship piping systems.

TAFE SA Chief Executive, David Coltman, said it was another example of a partnership with industry that would provide many benefits to TAFE SA and its students.

“We are delighted to have worked with Odyssee Aus Engineers to develop and deliver this new digital learning opportunity for our students and those interested in the naval shipbuilding industry,” Mr Coltman said.

“The convenience of being able to have access and explore a 3D virtual environment of a ship’s engine room will provide invaluable context and build student understanding of the complex systems and constraints that need to be taken into account when designing naval vessel interiors.

“At TAFE SA, we are determined to play our part in ensuring there is a skilled workforce for the many opportunities that lie ahead and this project is evidence of the innovative opportunities for the workforce to get these skills before and during their employment in the defence and naval shipbuilding industry.

“This is another example of TAFE SA increasing the utilisation of digital technologies in the classroom environment to maximise the quality educational outcomes for students.

“We will continue working with other education providers and industry to ensure students are receiving the latest education and training, and are well prepared for long and successful careers in the defence sector.”

The Virtual Ship Engine Room CAD features an engine room with structures on all faces (hull, floor, ceiling and bulkheads), the main equipment including the diesel engines, secondary equipment including pumps, purifiers and the electrical cabinet, plus structural equipment, ventilation ducts and pipe lines.

Students will also learn to read the pipe schematics for fuel, freshwater and seawater.

Director of Odyssee Aus, Eric Fusil, said that his local company was delighted to have this opportunity to develop 3D learning materials for the shipbuilding industry.

“The 3D CAD model of the engine room of a vessel is a first step in delivering the right skills for the detailed design work that will be required for the Hunter Class Frigate and Attack Class Submarines,” Mr Fusil said.

“TAFE SA students will thrive in solving design challenges in the Virtual Engine Room, which can also be explored on the desktop and through Virtual Reality technology.

“Odyssee Aus is also exploring augmented reality solutions to facilitate the connection between design and production for our specific Australian environment.

“In the past, a poorly designed pipe could be manufactured and delivered for outfitting onboard a vessel up to 2.5 times on average before getting it right. Through delivering this training with innovative tools, such as augmented reality and authentic ship compartment designs, it means these designers will understand production techniques, and get things right on the first attempt, saving industry massive costs.”

More information about the learning resources available for the defence industry are available at https://www.tafesa.edu.au/industry/defence-industries