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An explanation of real-time 3D technology in the AEC industry

There is a huge variety of applications for real-time 3D technology, from design and pre-construction, to the job site and beyond. Companies in the AEC industry that have adopted real-time 3D technology use it throughout their construction lifecycle, in more than four different use cases, on average, according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Unity and published in March 2020.

Here are some examples within the build lifecycle:

design and engineering
Common Use Cases: Immersive Design Reviews, Experience Based Design, Design Visualization, Structural Engineering, Project Status Review, Stakeholder Feedback Gathering, etc.

Practical examples of the use of 3D technology in real time: SHoP Architects accelerated the creation of real-time 3D experiences and reduced the time required to optimize large design models from several days to just minutes.

Planning and construction simulation
Common Use Cases: Job Site Coordination, Construction Sequencing, Clash Detection, Job Site 1:1 AR, Quantity Takeoffs, BIM Coordination, Field Guides, QA/QC, Documentation, etc.

Practical examples of the use of 3D technology in real time: Mortenson helped its medical stakeholders simulate hospital layouts in VR to streamline patient care, make staff more efficient, and reduce costs.

Training and operations
Common use cases: VR-based safety training, AR-based orientation, remote maintenance, real-time digital twins, data visualization, etc.

Practical examples of the use of 3D technology in real time: Skanska increased safety on their job sites by implementing a Unity-based VR experience into their standard worker safety training program.

sales and marketing
Common use cases: virtual events, photorealistic renderings, promotional videos, immersive real estate shopping experiences, mixed reality real estate experiences, etc.

Practical examples of the use of 3D technology in real time: SmartPixel created an interactive app to help Maestria Condominiums enable potential buyers to envision the future of towers under construction.