I have been searching all over and apparently I am the only one trying to do this.
I am creating a training “game” in which a user would put together an assembly in VR. We build very large/heavy products with 100’s of parts (not all unique) and UE4 handles our CAD models fantastically even in VR. To give you an idea how good it is, I am able to put models with over 12 million polygons into it, complete with materials and it still runs very well. Well enough that its VR ready. It’s running on a single GTX 1080 but soon to be dual GTX 1080 Ti’s.
I am very new to UE4 and being that I’m not using it to build a normal game with a character, everything I search for regarding skeletal meshes is typical player character related. I have managed to make it so I can take a collection of meshes which when all inserted at once, is our product fully assembled. I can then grab each component, look at it, and when I let go it drops to the floor. This works pretty well but I want to only be able to take it apart in a certain order and put it back together again. Right now I can grab any part anywhere in the product and pull it out and that’s just not going to be useful.
What I thought "might’ work is using a skeletal mesh and adding sockets to every single bone, and also have sockets on all the parts. If I could make the mesh on the skeleton hidden except for the main part everything else mounts to that would be ideal. What would be even better is as you get close to where the part is supposed to go it would glow or highlight so you know you can let go and it will snap into place. If there is a way I can use instancing where there are say several of the same screw going into different sockets it would probably help with performance.
There is going to be a lot of logic to make sure each part checks to see if the required prerequisite part is already in place. I can get around some of this by making sub assemblies up first but still a lot of logic. If I can’t figure this out I will be stuck making a canned animation that plays in steps which while somewhat useful is far less ideal for our training.
This is the first step, I have a whole lot of other ideas that will take our training to the next level. If someone likes a challenge and wants to teach me, I could make it worth your while. I really just need help with blueprints and a good method of placing the parts.