Technology

Autodesk launches ‘instant’ BIM-to-3D interactive model service

24 July 2016 | By Tom Ravenscroft

Software giant Autodesk has launched an online service that allows users to create an immersive, interactive 3D visualisation, direct from a Revit model, at the click of a button.

Named Autodesk LIVE, and previously known as Project Expo, the service allows those with no visualisation expertise to create fully-navigable 3D model, quickly and simply, from a BIM model.

The interactive visualisation can be shared and viewed on select Windows and iOS devices allowing those in the design team, or clients, to walk through the model at their own pace. This freedom allows users to explore the model how they wish and view the entire project, rooms and elements from any angle.

Amar Hanspal, senior vice president at Autodesk, believes that Autodesk LIVE has the potential to greatly change how clients understand a project: “While a picture may say a thousand words, Autodesk believes that an immersive experience says everything. LIVE is a perfect example of how film and game development is influencing client expectations in the AEC world.

“Imagine the ability to step inside a building and experience everything well before it is real,” he continues. “With such simplicity, clients can do more than just see what a space looks like, they can better know what it feels like. Autodesk LIVE may forever change the way AEC professionals communicate with their clients.”

The interactive visualisation can be shared and viewed on select Windows and iOS devices

According to Autodesk, support for virtual reality technologies such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and other popular brands is expected to come soon. Given the relative ease of use, quickness and affordability, Autodesk LIVE has the potential to greatly increase the use of VR in the built environment, both as a visualisation tool for clients and as part of the design process.

Taylor Cupp, a technologist at US contractor Mortenson Construction who has been trialling the service, said: “With the arrival of Autodesk LIVE, the era of delay in producing and editing fully interactive models has become the era of now, which is what clients expect and deserve in the real-time, experiential design world in which we live.

“With just one click from Revit, LIVE lifts my design into the cloud and quickly delivers an interactive space that my team and customers may explore and feel together, including how sunlight shines at different times of the day or even throughout the four seasons, to doors that actually open–behaving as they should in the real world.

“With this kind of ease and simplicity, LIVE should have a place in every virtual design and construction toolbox.”

The new Autodesk LIVE service is available now to subscribers of Autodesk Revit for an additional cost that starts at £30 a month.

While a picture may say a thousand words, Autodesk believes that an immersive experience says everything. LIVE is a perfect example of how film and game development is influencing client expectations in the AEC world– Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk