The Present and Future of XR in AEC

A few weeks back Logan was asked to speak at the Design Reality meetup, ?Portland?s Premier monthly AR/VR meetup?. You know when we said to sign up for our newsletter so you can learn about all the latest and greatest in AR/VR? Yeah, well this is exactly the post we were talking about when we said that. Because of this meetup, we came out on top with some great content that we want to share with all of you.

This month?s topic: XR for Present and Future in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry.

So let me give you a quick recap of what was talked about:

XR Right Now

Tools that already exist:

XR (extended reality) can be defined as an umbrella, which brings all three Reality (AR, VR, MR) together under one term – and when using it we have so much that we can already do with it. But it?s the actual application to the real world that makes what we are doing that much more awesome.

Logan taught a crash course on the easy and free VR tools practicing architects need to try?and why.

“Architects make places for people to occupy. It makes a big difference to have architects thinking in 3D as they are designing 3D spaces”.

Beginning in pre-design phases, Logan shows how to use Google Earth for site selection…

and continues to show how to transform 3D sketches into construction documents in Revit. The best part is, anyone can use these tools without prior VR experience.

Transforming 3D sketches into construction documents in Revit

Transforming 3D sketches into construction documents in Revit


Most of our clients already have a good handle on these tools?and they see the vision for the custom-built products you can create in a fully-immersive 3D environment.

That?s where Bevel comes in, and what we can do for our clients – finding very fined tuned design tools that are specific to them.

What is being applied right now:

Medical Design

The medical design field is one of the first industries to see the benefits of incorporating AR/VR in the design process?particularly when it comes to mockups. Medical mockups are an essential part of a lean design process, but warehouse-sized cardboard mockups generate some hefty costs and crazy amounts of revisions and time

Medical space planner

Medical space planner


Our solution? Create these spaces in VR and get our doctors and nurses in there to start making changes right there on the spot.

User flow simulations using hard data

User flow simulations using hard data


We can also use those same tools for efficiency and user flow simulations using hard data to calculate the best use of space.

Schematic Design – Layouts

You?re building a housing development. You know how many units to fit in, but you have to find a development layout that works in a real-world setting. You might think something works but then you jump into the model and realize it isn?t practical, it doesn?t ?feel? right, or it?s an ugly old eyesore. An awesome part of XR is it allows you to transform between a giant and human size. As a giant, you can move basic buildings around, then jump in at human size – and it?s SO MUCH FUN? also way more efficient.

Schematic Design ? Layouts

Schematic Design ? Layouts


Augmented Reality

We had fully expected to use AR for construction but continue to be blown away by its uses in architecture and design. It has increasingly become one of the more exciting things that we have found to work within AEC.

With AR we?re able to show clients physical scale models, augmenting them with diagrams, details, and animations – pulling metadata along with the elements – to look and know what it is right there on the spot.

Physical scale models, augmenting them with diagrams

Physical scale models, augmenting them with diagrams


Augmented reality allows us to really focus on how people use the space.

Future of XR

Where it is all going:

It?s hard to fully predict how the AEC industry will change, but it?s a good bet that XR and machine learning will be playing a big role in increasing productivity. While AEC productivity has stagnated we?re predicting that XR + machine learning will create intuitive design environments and spatially aware construction automation.

Intuitive design environments Spatially aware construction automation

The future of XR


Intuitive design environments-

Better recognized as mechanical engineering, Intuitive design environments will be pushed much further as we are able to do the command of the gestural human focus design and let the machine learning take care of the human interpretation of that. In other words, we can let humans do the parts that humans are good at and let the algorithms take care of the parts we are iffy with.

Spatially aware construction automation-

To have buildings taking advantages of the same kinds of process that manufacturers are, you need the machines understanding the spaces that they are in – and that?s what?s happening in XR.

Just a few simple examples of this are us taking our Magic Leap in the park scanning historical trees,

or an experiment of us bringing BIM into Unity and creating a virtual scanner to train the AI.

Virtual scanner to train the AI.

Virtual scanner to train the AI.


All of this combined will change where the industry is going, we don?t know how or who but we?re really excited to see it.

Want more of this goodness now? Try out last weeks post about a neat new vlog that Bevel is coproducing which focuses on XR in the real world of parenting – XR dad!

Full video presentation from Design Reality Meetup

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#MagicLeap #Revit #Intuitivedesign #augmentedreality #BIM #spatiallyawareconstructionautomation #medicaldesign #LoganSmith #XR