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Exciting BIM and VR technology unlock promising potential

Autodesk University was quite the success last week, but we’re just getting started. Industry Insights by UNIFI invited Simon and Logan to be on their webinar. The topic: “BIM and Virtual Reality.”

BIM and Virtual Reality webinar highlights:

Why VR isn’t just about being showy—when you have BIM, it’s about data.

There’s some perception that this is showy, but rest assured that VR is not just a novelty that is cool to look at. The potential we see and we are working on is for tools that are useful, interactive, and data-driven.

There is a special kind of ergonomics that comes from this…. Instead of working from plans and elevations. You add a human element – it enhances the human data.

It’s amazing the amount of info you can learn from subtle head movements. From your view in a theater to the placement of your cabinets.

You can’t communicate things like scale and distance and proportion in any better way than VR and AR.

When it comes to Virtual and Augmented reality for AEC, good BIM is important. What’s good BIM? Bevel clarified:

…depends on what you want out of your AR and VR.

If you’re going for realistic and pretty, having all your materials modeled in a more filled out way makes a big difference….

If you’re going for something more data focused, then having all those metadata points filled out would be the crucial thing… We can automatically set up those exports, our algorithms can read those data points without having to do it manually.

User flow simulations using hard data

User flow simulations using hard data


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AR and VR are experiences you have to try to understand.

When it comes to AR and VR, make sure you are the one bringing this tool to your clients. Don’t wait until your client is ready because they never will be until they try it.

It’s hard to understand what it’s like unless you’re doing it. Your screen isn’t quite adequate. Your drawing isn’t quite adequate.

It’s always a challenge to get people to understand the potential until they try it for themselves.

Try our iOS AR Plans app, featured at the Autodesk AEC Keynote.

How to get your firm into VR- What basic tools do you need to get started?

Hardware: Get a VR headset –> try a Samsung Odyssey.

Once you have a headset there are many turnkey BIM to VR solutions. Enscape and Iris Prospect are great and work through Revit.

These get you to the point where your Revit model is in VR and you can view it. If you want to interact with your data, you’ll need to get into the game engines. We teach Linkedin Learning courses designed for AEC professionals to get started.

How to get your firm into AR and what basic tools do you need to get started?

We recommend handheld or mobile AR—on your tablet or phone. Check out the reasons we love handheld AR.

Download an AR plans demo that enhances a document set in AR.

BIM nerds and those of you spearheading VR and AR efforts at your firm, listen to the full webinar below for more tech talk.

Learn how Logan and Simon decided to become spatial technologists for AEC. Find out their favorite VR meeting room platform. And see which programming languages and game engines they use for each project.