BIM to real-time 3D in one click for better design decisions
15 July 2019
'As clients’ timelines become tighter and project requirements get more complex, it is imperative for stakeholders across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry to quickly iterate and make the right design decisions.'
Unity Reflect, a new product for architects, building designers and engineers, and which transfers multiple BIM models into real-time 3D in one click, was unveiled at the recent AU London conference.
The software aims to improve the design review and construction planning processes by seamlessly syncing changes made in Autodesk Revit to any Unity Reflect-supported platform, from mobile and desktop to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
It takes multiple teams to turn buildings from vision to reality. But as clients’ timelines become tighter and project requirements get more complex, it is imperative for stakeholders across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry to quickly iterate and make the right design decisions, the company said.
The product is designed to make it easy to create immersive and interactive experiences. BIM/CAD models from multiple designers are live-linked to a federated real-time 3D view, enabling project stakeholders to review and make smart design decisions in real-time.
The software accelerates the project lifecycle for buildings and infrastructure by bringing real-time 3D to anyone. Being able to visualise projects clearly (both during design and in the field), identify mistakes before they become downstream problems, and drive consensus keeps projects on track and on budget, the firm claimed.
It added that the product is accessible to all project stakeholders, regardless of their level of technical expertise. “In fact, to use the product, you don’t need to be a Unity developer or know how to write a single line of code. But if you are a developer, you can customise and build upon Unity Reflect to create the best experience for your end users,” it said.
Commitment to AEC
The company said it worked closely with Autodesk and that it was committed to continuing with investment in the AEC industry. “Our collaboration with Autodesk is pivotal to streamlining AEC workflows. With Autodesk, we’re making it easier to turn 3D data into immersive, interactive experiences on any platform.
“Unity Reflect’s native integration with Revit is part of our ongoing collaboration to provide seamless integrations and full data interoperability between our platform and Autodesk’s design tools.”
“Our collaboration with Unity is important because visualisation has become a vital part of the design process, particularly in the AEC industry where time is money,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk president and CEO.
“Real-time, immersive experiences are becoming the norm, and this integration with Autodesk Revit cuts down on dead time between revisions and meetings, which is critical to giving our shared customers a competitive edge.”
How it works
“First, Revit users install the Unity Reflect plugin, enabling them to transfer and prepare data for real-time 3D experiences without leaving their design tools, a Unity Reflect spokesman said.
“Then, with one click, Revit users start the sync of BIM/CAD data to Unity Reflect and create a real-time 3D experience. Every time you make a change in Revit, it is displayed in Unity Reflect.
“It’s that simple. There’s a lot of complexity behind the scenes though. Through a seamless data federation process hosted on a local machine or a network server, Unity Reflect brings together BIM and/or CAD data from multiple designers and engineers working on different systems in one model. It automatically optimises this data for real-time 3D, including preserving BIM metadata.
Preparing and optimising data from design tools for real-time 3D has historically been regarded as a painful, time-consuming process.
“The transfer of information and flexibility of linking into other programs has been impressive, and we’re excited to see how this can augment our existing capabilities,” said Kai Duebbert, managing director at Murphy Surveys.
Once all models are federated, the software creates an interactive 3D experience that 1) can be distributed to any platform supported by Unity and 2) is live-linked to the original design applications, allowing customisation and multiple reviewers.
“Stakeholders can review the rendering on the platform of their choice: iOS, Android, Mac, PC, AR/VR devices, and more,” the spokesman said.
“That means you don’t need to be in the same room — or on the same device – to get on the same page. For instance, one participant can review on a VR headset, another can use a tablet to create an AR tabletop experience, and others can access the real-time 3D experience on their laptops.”
The product supports multiple concurrent viewers, allowing various project stakeholders, from clients to field construction teams, to access this unified view simultaneously.
“This unlocks the ability for teams to collaborate in real-time and for decision-makers to review and approve a project without requiring access to design applications.
“The software has BIM/CAD filtering capabilities, allowing you to isolate ceilings, structural columns, walls, and other data in real-time 3D.
“The live link means that as stakeholders share ideas and provide instant feedback, designers can make changes in their design applications (for example, relocating doors, adding windows, and adjusting lighting, materials, and textures) and Unity Reflect will update the rendering in real-time for all viewers.”
“Visualising projects in the HoloLens and other augmented reality platforms is becoming increasingly important in our industry,” said Adam Chernick, associate, interactive visualisation at SHoP Architects.
“Unity Reflect is great because it gives design teams the ability to make changes and see those reflected instantly onsite in AR.”https://www.engineersjournal.ie/2019/07/15/bim-to-real-time-3d-in-one-click-for-better-design-decisions/https://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/a1-1024x576.pnghttps://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/a1-300x300.pngTech3D,BIM,construction