Expanded support for BIM 360 models, a new user interface, and more 1:1 AR options unlock greater collaboration opportunities for designers and stakeholders to conduct real-time BIM design reviews and project coordination.
Unity Reflect is a BIM design and coordination solution that connects all project members on one immersive, collaborative, real-time platform regardless of device, model size, or geographic-location. You can transfer your BIM data into real-time 3D experiences on a range of devices in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to bridge the gap between design and construction.
It’s been one year since Unity Reflect launched back at Autodesk University 2019. Since then, we’ve expanded support for more authoring tools (Navisworks, SketchUp, and Rhino), improved the viewer experience by adding features like sun study and BIM selection, and added cloud hosting, to name a few.
We continue to concentrate on enhancing the user experience and making collaboration in real-time 3D accessible to everyone, from designers, building owners, and occupants, to trades. Our latest release brings more stakeholders and data into real-time BIM design reviews and design-assist with these new features.
Bring BIM 360 projects into real-time 3D
Autodesk University 2020 has come to a close, but our partnership with Autodesk continues to expand. Unity Reflect launched with support for Revit – the industry-leading BIM software – to allow designers and engineers to transfer models into real-time 3D experiences in AR and VR.
Revit is only part of the building lifecycle though. In June, we added support for Navisworks to enable architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies to improve BIM coordination, visualize design clashes, and better coordinate engineering reviews. But not all users have the same tools or access to authorizing applications like Revit, Navisworks, SketchUp, and Rhino.
Now, we’ve added support for BIM 360, a unified platform connecting project teams and data, from design through construction, supporting informed decision-making and leading to more predictable and profitable outcomes. Unity Reflect users can now view their BIM 360 models and any use formats that BIM 360 supports (e.g. IFC, FBX, Civil 3D, Infraworks, etc) in AR and VR for the first time.
“From clash detection to real-time virtual walkthroughs, real-time 3D workflows are transforming how construction firms operate,” said James Cook, head of integrations at Autodesk Construction Solutions. “By using models from BIM 360 within Unity Reflect, construction teams can know these data-rich workflows always incorporate the most up-to-date information.”
We’re excited to work with Autodesk to harness the power of real-time BIM for AEC and improve collaboration throughout the entire building lifecycle, from the office to the field, design to construction, and digital twins.
View models at scale with 1:1 AR
You can now unlock the power of AR on-site at 1:1 scale. Before, it was possible to create 1:1 scale AR on-site, but it involved creating a custom Unity Reflect application in Unity Pro and the use of image-based tracking or tools like Mapbox. The ability to use 1:1 scale on-site AR to visualize buildings and design intent is now available out-of-the-box. Users can utilize AR in three different modes with Unity Reflect.
Load a model in any open space in a real-world setting (eg. on-site; preconstruction).
Anchor a model based on two walls to visualize BIM models in a specific context (e.g. where a beam should be placed). No QR code markers needed!
Load a project onto a table or floor surface to quickly view and interact with a scaled-down version of the model.
New viewer and improved user interface
In September, we launched a Unity Reflect beta to invest our efforts to deliver a standalone application experience for those who want a solution ready to use out of the box. It started with a complete redesign of the Unity Reflect app, including updates to navigation and an improved user experience to make it easier for new users to jump right into Unity Reflect and intuitively navigate a model.
The new Unity Reflect app is officially out of beta and includes even more functionality improvements detailed below to bridge the gap between designers and other project stakeholders.
More tools at your fingertips for faster, better decision making
We’ve added additional BIM filtering and object selection options to enable more granular metadata isolation and review during design-assist and coordination meetings. Upgrades to existing tools like BIM selection – combined with depth-enabled selection, where repeatedly selecting the same spot will keep selecting objects behind the previous selection – allow users to easily inspect elements that are hidden behind walls, columns, etc.
Access your model faster
The new Unity Reflect app includes a novel method for streaming models progressively based on object priority, which is determined by a series of factors such as camera position, visibility, occlusion, distance, size, and more. Objects are initially represented as transparent boxes and are replaced by objects as they are downloaded.
Users don’t have to wait for the model to fully load to start interacting with the parts of the models that are important to them. Models open 50% faster and start streaming in up to 95% faster, rather than waiting for the entire model to download.
This new version of Unity Reflect can be used today, and the new iOS App will be available in just a few days!
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