By combining Computer Aided Tolerance (CAT) simulation tools with Virtual Reality (VR) tools, virtual environments for non-nominal geometry verification can be utilized. This paper presents the results from an experimental study, conducted at Volvo Car Corporation, which investigates the perceptional aspects that are related to verification of visual quality appearance, using non-nominal virtual models. Although a realistic non-nominal model is created, the interpretation, i.e. how the model is perceived, must be clarified. Since the effect of geometric variation is a specific application, with high demands on realistic and detailed representation, perceptional studies are needed to ensure that VR and other virtual representations can be used for this kind of application. In this paper, two environments are compared, one physical and one corresponding virtual environment. Three adjusted physical vehicles are mapped to the virtual environment and compared using non-immersive desktop VR in a visualization experiment with test subjects from the automotive industry. The study indicates that virtual objects are judged as less good-looking compared to physical objects. There is also a higher degree of uncertainness when judging virtual objects.

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