LancasterThrivingFallWinter2017 - 20

Originally, we pursued AR based on the premise that since
we already had a 3D model for our buildings, it would be
easy to make them small enough for the app. Unfortunately,
this turned out to be a somewhat flawed assumption.
Because our models are built to such a fine level of
detail that we use them to construct the actual building,
CAD drawings do not lend themselves to simply saving
themselves at a smaller resolution. Rather, the detail
(imagine doorknobs or light fixtures, for instance) must be
manually removed from the model first.
While feasible, the process was time-consuming, and the
extra time required took our Virtual Design Professionals
away from work critical to the construction process. Seeking
a swifter solution, we next asked the app builder to help with
reducing the size of the models. Unfortunately, though they
had ample augmented reality experience, they had never
worked with files of such a massive size and were unable to
reduce the file size quickly or inexpensively.
In the end, we found an affordable freelancer who had
experience turning CAD models into small-sized files for
presentation pitches.
When complete, the app will be versatile, holding several
"pop-up" buildings with plans to add more in the future
and - now that we've figured out a workflow - with more
complexity. The models can be "triggered" by holding up a
phone or tablet to a pre-determined place on a brochure
or banner.
Whether or not your company should be pursuing any of

20 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Fall/Winter2017

these technologies depends greatly both on the realities
and challenges within your company.
In places like RLPS and Benchmark, where 3D models
are rapidly becoming the standard, it almost seems
irresponsible not to experiment with VR and AR. The
greatest expense (both in time and money) is the creation
of 3D models. Once that expense has been made ("sunk
costs," your economics teacher would call them), you should
be exploring how else to leverage them.
Assuming your business doesn't have models - like at HOPE
- it's a matter of examining the challenges you're facing and
asking yourself how technology can be used to overcome
them. And don't be surprised if the answers point you to a
very different reality. LT
VP of Market Growth & Innovation,
Benchmark Construction
Contact Marcus at:

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