London-based Inition is a technology company that is all about 3D. The company is well versed in 3D printing technologies and has carried out a great deal of R&D into augmented reality 3D software and its applications. Most recently, the company has been working on an augmented-reality iPad app specifically for architectural companies, which allows architects to visualise architectural scale models — in context.
3D-printing is often the production method of choice for producing architectural scale models, and Inition used 3D printing to produce a model to demonstrate the capabilities of this new app. The building used to illustrate it here is the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan, USA; designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Andy Millns , a founder member of Inition and currently a director with more than 15 years of experience in this area, describes the technology as ‘augmented 3D-printing’.
He explains: “3D-printed models have benefits and augmented reality has other benefits, so we thought we’d bring the two together to get the best of both. We approached one of our existing clients, Zaha Hadid, and came up with the idea of augmenting one of their buildings.
By pointing an iPad at the 3D model, architects can call up a variety of information overlays that combine with the physical model. The physical model sits on a patterned mat that acts as a marker, allowing the iPad to keep track of the model as the user moves around.
It’s much easier than showing traditional architectural plans.”
When using the app on an iPad, it is possible display the building (model) within its location context, during the day and at night, without leaving the office. It is also possible to use the app with other information sources to provide windflow data, internal floorplans, wireframe views and information about the programme.
The video below provides an introduction to the technology and how it works.