Company-X built an interactive virtual reality (VR) model of a General Electric gas turbine to demonstrate the concept of digital twins.

A digital twin is a virtual copy of a real-world object, updated with historical and real-time data using internet-of-things technology.


The interactive virtual reality model of the General Electric gas turbine needed to replicate its real-world counterpart.

The biggest challenge was sourcing the gas turbine’s external and internal specifications.

Another challenge was creating a virtual reality version of the user’s hands rather than standard controllers that the majority of VR developers were using.


Company-X’s virtual reality development team sourced the external and internal specifications of the General Electric gas turbine.

The virtual reality model was built on the Unity Real-Time Development Platform for the HTC Vive Virtual Reality System.

The team comprised a Unity developer and a 3D modeller.

Gas Turbine 2


The user dons an HTC Vive Virtual Reality System headset and separates out the different parts of the turbine by causing the model to explode out into individual parts.

Any relevant maintenance data can be 'attached' to the individual part giving the user the information that they need to make decisions. The latest data helps users make the best maintenance decisions.

The VR replica can also be used to run simulations for forward planning and reliability engineering, for example end of life replacement planning.


“Digital twins have been around for a long time, however during the COVID-19 pandemic they really gained traction. Being able to do things remotely is a lot more important without the ability to travel.”

Company-X extended reality specialist Lance Bauerfeind

Services Provided
Interactive virtual reality
Technologies Used
HTC Vive Virtual Reality System, Leap Motion Controller, Unity Real-Time Development Platform