Google Cardboard VR with BIM
Why do we love BIM? Well firstly it’s a great tool for showing our clients their design work in 3D. We give all our clients a BIMx file so they can fly through the model and check out the design. This works really well on an iPad or a computer. We’ve done this for a few years now and it has gone down really well.
However tech has moved on and more and more clients are now familiar with using their smartphones for apps in AR or VR. As a result we have also updated our systems to give our clients the best possible way to view our design work. For instance we find that Google Cardboard VR and BIM is a great tool when planning a house extension.
So today we’ve taken another big step forward! Google Cardboard VR for BIMx is here so we can now explore the design in VR Virtual Reality!
Our new delivery of Google Cardboard and BIMx for iPhone
How Does Google Cardboard work with BIM?
We work in top end architectural software on all our projects. From there we can output the file as a BIMx model that our clients can fly around using a free iPad or iPhone BIMx app.
But now using Google Cardboard VR with BIM the process is even easier. You simply open the BIMx file in the iPhone app, hit the Google Cardboard button, and that’s it. When you put the phone inside and raise the Google Cardboard you are now immersed in the design in VR, Virtual Reality.
You simply move your head to look around the 3D model, and click the button on top of the Cardboard to start or stop walking. Within a couple of minutes, it feels pretty natural and you feel at home in the design.
Checking out some of our 3D models using Google Cardboard with BIM in the office today.
Benefits of BIMx and VR for Small Architectural Projects
Virtual Reality VR is great for architectural projects. It is not always easy for clients to visualise the design from drawings on paper, but Google Cardboard VR with BIM changes all that.
Imagine being able to stand inside your house extension, and look around, before it is built. That’s now a reality.
Use Google Cardboard VR with BIM to:
- Get a better sense of size, depth and space
- Understand the design in more detail
- See the design from every angle
- Check out the materials planned for the extension
- Look at the kitchen, bathrooms and layouts in 3D
- Walkthrough the whole architectural design
Virtual Reality Architectural Walkthrough
Normal architectural walkthroughs take a long time to make and have a fixed route so they can be a bit restrictive. VR for architecture changes all this. Now our clients can go where they want to go in the model rather than following a set path. Best of all a VR architectural walkthrough is quick to make from a BIM file, and is easy to use.
VR and BIM Software
BIM is changing the way that architects work. 3D BIM software is replacing 2D CAD for architectural projects.
We use Graphisoft ArchiCAD for our BIM models. ArchiCAD BIMx files are great for Google Cardboard VR.
There are other options for BIM and VR such as Autodesk Virtual Reality, Revit VR, Rhino and even a Sketchup VR workflow. But some of these require other software such as Iris VR and special VR headsets.
|BIM Software to VR Workflows|
|BIM Software||VR Output||VR Headset|
|Autodesk||Revit||Iris VR||Oculus Rift|
|McNeel||Rhino||Insite VR||HTC Vive|
|Nemetschek||Vectorworks||Webview VR||Google Cardboard|
We find that ArchiCAD BIMx with Google Cardboard VR is the best, and most simple, workflow from BIM to VR architectural walkthroughs.
Google Cardboard also has the advantage of being £15 and uses the VR on a smart phone. Other VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive cost over £500 and so are less accessible.
BIMx and Google Cardboard @ 2PM Architects
For years we have made really detailed 3D models of every project we work on. These are great because all our drawings come straight off these so they are super accurate.
But it has always been hard to show our clients just how great the models are! 3D renders are good, and BIMx for iPad is brilliant too, but Google Cardboard VR brings a new dimension to BIM for small architectural projects. Now all the detail of our models will be easy for our clients to see and check out in VR.
If you’ve got any questions about using BIMx or Google Cardboard VR for your project just get in touch with us for a chat.Email 2PM
The Future for BIM & VR could be Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is set to change BIM and VR for good when it hits the mainstream. AR takes the experience to the next level. We got our hands on the latest development version of the Microsoft HoloLens AR headset in Jan ‘17 and took it for a test drive in our studio.
Using Microsoft HoloLens AR Augmented Reality to check out our BIM models in virtual space in our office.
BIM & HoloLens AR
The cool thing about AR is that you can see the virtual model set against the background of the real world. We set up a virtual model in AR from one of our BIM files and ‘put’ it on a real world table in our office. You can walk around the model as if it was really there. It feels like you can touch it, and the HoloLens encourages this by giving feedback and project info when you ‘press’ parts of the model. It’s pretty cool!
Augmented Reality for BIM
AR can go beyond looking at a virtual model in the office. Taken outside you can see a virtual BIM model in AR set in its real world context. To stand on a site and be able to ‘see’ the completed project in AR is a great use of BIM. This opens the door for a whole new way of looking at BIM models, that could be a blend of VR and AR. That is an exciting future.Email 2PM