NVIDIA Holodeck Gets New VR Tools for Architecture, Engineering and Construction

by Thomas Riley

To see the transformative power of virtual reality, step into NVIDIA Holodeck, which has newly added navigation tools expressly designed for architecture, engineering and construction professionals.

These productivity-enhancing capabilities, which will be shown off next week at the annual SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver, Canada, enable designers and architects to extend VR throughout their design pipelines, enhancing traditional processes with creative new possibilities in the virtual world.

The new features include:

  • Holotable – Enables tabletop viewing of scale models on a podium with tools to review, rotate and section. Models created in Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya using Materials can toggle layers, adding greater flexibility to explore floor-plans within and across levels. Lighting can be dynamically changed on the scale model to see how lights and shadows interact with their designs.
  • Workflow enhancements – Allows import of Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS Visualize (2019 beta required) models as well as AEC’s larger footprint models. Material palettes have been improved so that a Holodeck library material can be edited, saved and re-assigned to expedite model set up and reduce prep time for future Holodeck sessions. Creating and joining private sessions has been streamlined with the use of passcode-protection.
  • Navigation improvements – Teleport to different floors and elevations to fully explore buildings of any size. Place beacons to set up points of interest to quickly navigate around large, multi-leveled models.
  • New and improved design tools – Share concepts and feedback with stakeholders with enhanced communications tools. Whiteboards, drawing and measurement tools have all been improved for greater accuracy and flexibility; video and 360-degree image capture tools have been added for live recording; and users can now launch a fully-functional web-browser within Holodeck for displaying reference images, playing videos, and even participating in Google Hangouts.

CannonDesign Reinvents Design Workflow with Holodeck

In the immersive pavilion at SIGGRAPH, we’ll be showing how CannonDesign, voted one of the 10 most innovative architecture firms in the world in 2017 by Fast Company, uses Holodeck to place designers and clients in a digital model to interact at a 1:1 scale.

Holodeck allows architects and their clients to see and experience every part of their building. This improves their understanding of the design and gives them a chance to make important decisions earlier in the design phase.

“NVIDIA Holodeck breaks down distance barriers, bringing people together from anywhere in the world in a single virtual space to talk, sketch and visualize together without ever boarding a plane or even leaving the office. Holodeck significantly enhances virtual collaboration and strengthens both the design process and the outcomes it generates.” — Hilda Espinal, chief technology officer at CannonDesign.

To get started with these new features, Early Access users can update Holodeck in  Steam. Find out more information and apply for Holodeck Early Access at www.nvidia.com/holodeck.