VR Upgrades Allow for Walkthroughs of Buildings Pre-Construction
Architects have been relying on computer-assisted design (CAD) for years, creating 3D wireframes from houses to shopping malls to skyscrapers.
A trio of new companies are all rushing headlong into the virtual reality (VR) applications of such an idea, using next-generation technology to allow architects, contractors, interior designers, and clients to walk through fully-formed structures before the first brick is laid or beam is constructed.
But it’s not just about a walkthrough. The companies are making VR instances that sustain their form when a person takes off the VR goggles, and can act as collaboration spaces.
That means anyone can enter the structure and edit it, collaborate with others inside of it, and view it as an entire experience from anywhere in the world.Such technology could be worth tens of billions of dollars to the industry, allowing multiple stakeholders the ability to be hands-on in the design of any structure; using sketching tools in VR to deliver, customize, and revise any project before any dollars are spent on the physical incarnation.
Racing away in this new industry are companies InsiteVR, IrisVR, and The Wild.
The Wild integrates into Autodesk Construction Cloud It features dynamic editing tools including geometric shapes, customizable colors to repopulate any wall, surface, or interior, speech-to-text commands, and the ability to make annotations with virtual pens that will remain static until you or someone else erases them, thus making them ideal for collaboration when all the involved parties can’t be in the same place at the same time.IrisVR is built for engineers and designers who use it to develop and share 3D models of their latest architectural designs.
Its biggest flex is that it can let meeting hosts give guests walkthroughs of the models by integrating with the likes of Navisworks, Sketchup, Rhino, and Revit. Annotations can be added with freehand techniques, and the guests are literally “teleported” into the collaboration space from their respective editing software packages. Like The Wild, InsiteVR can be integrated into Autodesk Construction Cloud and is ideal for knocking out late-stage errors in construction that could cause huge delays if they made it into the final blueprints.Remote users can double as building inspectors to make sure everything is built to code and passes the proverbial smell test.The building information model (BIM) powered by InsiteVR can be composed of up to 500 million polygons, vastly superior to the limited abilities of other architecture engineering construction (AEC) softwares. Users have access to tools good for drawing, measuring, and adding notes as well.
The Big Advantage
There’s such a profound difference between looking at a scale model on a flat screen and getting completely immersed in a full-scale model. Some users compare it to being in a movie like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” where the users feel as if they have been reduced in size inside the simulation. It seems even teh virtual world, size matters.