Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of Meet the omnivore posts, featuring individual creators and developers who use the NVIDIA Omniverse 3D simulation and collaboration platform to boost their artistic or engineering processes.
Don’t be fooled by the candy canes, hot chocolate and cheerful demeanor of the CEO.
Santa’s Workshop is the very model of a 21st century company: pioneering mass customization and perfecting a global distribution system capable of meeting nearly bottomless global demand.
So it makes sense that Michael Wagner, CTO of ipolog, a digital twin software company for assembly and logistics planning, would make a virtual representation, or digital twin, of Santa’s workshop.
Digital twins like Wagner’s “Santa’s Factory” can be used “to map optimal routes for employees around a facility, simulate processes such as material flow, as well as detect bottlenecks before they don’t happen,” he said.
Wagner has built an NVIDIA Omniverse extension – a tool to use in conjunction with Omniverse apps – for what he calls the science of santa-facturing.
A rendering of the meeting room in Santa’s workshop, created with NVIDIA Omniverse.
Creation of the ‘Santa-Facturing’ extension
To decorate the hallways of Santa’s Factory, Wagner needed a virtual environment where he could represent the North Pole, Santa Claus himself, hundreds of elves and millions of toy parts. Omniverse provided the tools to create such a detailed environment.
“Omniverse is the only platform capable of visualizing such a large amount of components in high fidelity and making the simulation physically accurate,” Wagner said. “My work is a proof of concept – if Omniverse is adept at visualizing Santa’s factory, it’s adept at visualizing the daily material supply load for a real-world car factory, for example, that has an order of similar complexity.”
Ipolog recently supplied BMW with highly detailed elements like racks and boxes for a digital twin of the automaker’s factory.
With the help of ipolog software and other tools, BMW is creating a factory of the future based on digital twins with NVIDIA Omniverse, which allows the automaker to simulate complex production scenarios taking place in more than 6 million square meters of factory space.
Digital twin simulation speeds up production and increases the efficiency of BMW’s entire production cycle – from reviewing engineering details for vehicle parts to optimizing workflow at product level. ‘factory.
Wagner used Omniverse Kit, a toolkit for building native Omniverse extensions and applications, to create the Santa Claus manufacturing environment.
The developer is also exploring Omniverse Code – a recently launched application that serves as an integrated development environment allowing developers to easily create Omniverse extensions, applications or microservices.
“The principle of building on the shoulders of giants is in the DNA of the Omniverse ecosystem and kit-based environment,” Wagner said. “Existing open source extensions, which any developer can contribute to, provide a good base from which to start and quickly build a dedicated app or extension for digital twins.”
View the ‘Santa-Factory’
Using Omniverse, which includes PhysX – a software development kit that provides advanced physics simulation – Wagner transformed 2D illustrations of Santa’s factory into a physically accurate 3D scene. The process was simple, he says. It “piled up a lot of stuff and let PhysX work its magic”.
A 2D representation of Santa’s workshop transformed into a 3D rendering using Omniverse.
To create the North Pole glacial environment, Wagner used the Unreal Engine 4 Omniverse Connector. To bring the faithful elves to life, he introduced Blender animations. And to convert the huge datasets to the Universal Scene Description format, Wagner worked with German 3D software development company NetAllied Systems.
A rendering of elves tending to reindeer near Santa’s workshop, created with NVIDIA Omniverse.
What better example of material sourcing and flow in manufacturing than millions of toy parts delivered to Santa’s workshop? Watch Wagner’s stunning demo, created in Omniverse:
Such use of digital twin simulations, Wagner said, allows manufacturers to visualize and plan their most efficient workflow, often reducing the time it takes to complete a manufacturing project by 30 percent.
Looking ahead, Wagner and his team at ipolog plan to build a full suite of apps, extensions, and backend services to enable a fully Omniverse-based manufacturing virtual world.
Learn more about the Santa Claus making project and how Wagner uses Omniverse Kit.
Attend Wagner’s session on Digital Twins for Manufacturing at GTC, taking place March 21-24.
Creators and developers can free download nvidia omniverse and get started with step-by-step tutorials on the Omniverse YouTube Channel. To follow Omniverse on instagram, Twitter and Average for additional resources and inspiration. Discover the Omniverse forums and join our Discord Server to chat with the community.