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AUTHOR: David Spergel

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Now Available: Enscape 3.0 New Features

Enscape 3.0 is now here! The latest version of Enscape, the leading real-time rendering and VR plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Archicad, and Vectorworks, comes with a brand-new look and feel that will help you design and visualize more intuitively.

With 3.0, you will benefit from a redesigned user interface with improved functionality to help complement your everyday workflow. Read on to learn more about the newest version of Enscape (and if you’re not already using Enscape, start today with a free 14-day trial!).

More intuitive workflow

With the release of Enscape 3.0, an important milestone has been reached as Enscape introduces a new and improved user interface for a more intuitive workflow.

With previous versions of Enscape, certain features were accessible directly from the design software itself. To help improve your rendering workflow, Enscape has moved a few commonly-used features to the Enscape rendering window for quicker access – exports, video editor, VR, and visual settings. Additionally, you can now create a view directly from the rendering window with 3.0.

Enscape Visual Settings

UI Overhaul 

More of a revamp than a complete redesign, the UI overhaul will give you a better real-time rendering experience. The fresh look brings you style consistency and a more intuitive way to navigate and interact with the product. 

  • Improved visual setting workflow management 
  • Relocation of functions from plugin toolbar to renderer toolbar 
  • New style icon in renderer 
  • New control styles in renderer 
  • New structure for displaying information in renderer (eg. panels) 

Enscape

Local Assets 

Create a more authentic regional experience within your designs with the new Local Assets. Add buildings, vehicles, and vegetation (and more!) that are distinct to specific regions around the world. Celebrate different global cultures and mitigate cultural sensitivity within your projects.

Enscape Local Assets

Upload Management 

This new optional feature gives you the opportunity to organize your Enscape activity and sharing capabilities. This includes management for project related and distributable Panoramas and Web Standalones. 

  • Organizing uploads in folder structure 
  • Deleting uploads 
  • Generating new links for uploads 

Batch renderings for Vectorworks 

Vectorworks users can now enjoy the benefit of being able to render a set of images at the same time. Instead of rendering images one after the other, you can save time by rendering multiple images at once 

Faster loading for textures

Enscape now supports simultaneous loading of texture images (used in materials), which results in significantly faster loading times.

Setting presets connected to 3D views

Previously, visual presets, including fog, cloud, or lighting settings, were only applied when doing batch renderings. Now, the visual settings are applied in real time when switching between views.

 

Get started today with Enscape 3.0!

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Introduction to Augmented, Virtual & Mixed Reality

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed-reality (MR) represent both disruption and an opportunity for people who make things. Using these technologies, you can transform 2D designs into interactive, immersive digital models, giving context to your digital information.

So how does AR, VR & MR work? When do you use these technologies? How are people using it, and what are the benefits?

Read this article to get an introduction to these technologies and find out how it is reshaping the world of design.

 

How does AR, VR, and MR work?

Augmented Reality

AR adds digital elements to the real world and projects them onto your line of sight. Using AR, workers can view an overlay of 3D models and project information at a job site.

Virtual Reality

VR replaces the real world with a simulated one in 3D. With VR, you can experience a simulation of a factory you’ve designed—with machines running—all before it’s built.

Mixed Reality

MR is a hybrid of virtual reality and augmented reality. Using MR, you can touch a real table and use it as an interface to manipulate a digital model.

Kubity 3D Tools

When do you use AR, VR & MR?

Conceptual Design

Designing in 3D helps you understand the overall scale, view how design changes in real-time, and experience your design as if it has already been built.

Design Review

Eliminate expensive and time-consuming physical prototypes from the design review process by visualizing at scale in 3D.

Training & Simulation

With VR, users can train in dangerous and complex environments, practicing their skills within the safety of a virtual world.

Immersive Storytelling

AR and VR can help you tell immersive and engaging stories about your design, product, or game. As you market your project, customers can give feedback in real-time.

Remote Systems Control and Analysis

With VR, you can remotely monitor, control, and analyze dangerous or inconveniently located systems from a safe environment.

 

How are people using AR & VR?

Big data and VR in architecture

Big data is transforming how architects design buildings, but the combined forces of big data and virtual reality will advance the architectural practice by leaps and bounds.

Five ways AR and VR improve reality

Recent technological advances, coupled with a proliferation of affordable hardware and software, have made immersive technologies like AR, VR, and MR more commercially feasible than ever.

Humans and machines unite in the workforce

Learn how the current trends in technology—including VR, AR, and MR—have the potential to create stronger connections between people and machines.

 

Enscape Image - Herbo

What AR & VR tools do you need?

Enscape integrates seamlessly into your current design program from Revit to Rhinoceros, SketchUp, Archicad, and Vectorworks.

One-click starts Enscape; you are just seconds away from walking through your fully rendered project – no uploading to the cloud or exporting to a separate program. Any changes you make in your CAD program are instantly visible in Enscape.

Fast and Affordable Rendering in No Time
Enscape accelerates your workflows to lightning speeds, thanks to a real-time link and super-fast rendering times. Render in seconds, not hours.

No Training Required
The simplicity of Enscape has made it a favorite for many firms. Enscape doesn’t require any extra training; start it alongside your CAD program and create stunning renderings in a flash.

Efficient Collaboration
Make sure all of your designers are on the same page, especially when a client presentation is in the works. The live updates make it possible to incorporate and visualize client feedback instantly.

Explore your design in the compelling realism of virtual reality. Connect a VR headset like the Oculus Rift S or HTC Vive in a snap and get ready to walk or fly through your project.

With Enscape’s real-time technology, your project is visualized as a fully-rendered 3D walk-through, which can be navigated and explored from every angle, at any time of day.

 

Summary

More than just cool technologies, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) are changing how we design, create and experience everything.

For more information, please reach out to our visualization team at enscape@microsolresources.com.

 

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Tips for 3D Printing File Preparation

A Quick Overview of 3D Printing

In the 3D printing world, the main focus is printing geometry with color. That means that other things used in rendering such as lights, special effects, cameras, etc; are ignored.

The 3D Systems printer comes with proprietary software called 3DPrint. 3DPrint is where you import your various types of files including (.stl, .3ds, .wrl). The 3DPrint software can tell you if a model has reversed faces and show you a 2D view of each layer that will be printed. The program can also scale, rotate, position, and even mirror parts inside the build chamber. The size of the build chamber depends on the model of the 3D Systems printer that you are using.

3D Systems’ machines range from 8” long (X-axis) by 10” wide (Y-axis) by 8” deep (Z-axis) with the ProJet 460 and 15” long (X-axis) by 10” wide (Y-axis) by 8” deep (Z-axis) with the ProJet 660. The average build time for parts is around 1 hour per every inch built in the Z-axis.

 

General Information

1) Three-Dimensional geometry used for 3D printing can be generated in any 3D modeling application.

Common applications are Autodesk’s 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Revit,  Fusion 360; and Rhino from McNeel.

2) All geometry to be 3D printed must be in three-dimensions. Any two-dimensional geometry cannot be processed by the machine’s software or interpreted by the 3D printer.

3) One way to check your geometry accuracy is viewing your STL file in an STL viewer. Some programs to look into are Netfabb and Meshmixer by Autodesk.

4) All three-dimensional geometry must consist of closed volumes.

  1. An easy way to test for this is by checking the model’s volume. If the CAD software can calculate a volume it’s generally because the model consists of closed volumes.
  2. In Netfabb you can run one of the repair scripts and that will attempt to automatically repair open contours and edges. Usually it is able to take care of any issues without much user input but sometimes a manual repair is required. Sometimes the changes may need to happen in the native application.

5) Ideally all geometries are unified to create a single object.

6) It is standard procedure to share screenshots, conduct webinars, and exchange emails to ensure proper interpretation of your file and setting customer expectations.

Minimum Thicknesses

1) Thicknesses needed for accurate and high-quality 3D printing may range based on the specific geometry.

2) The purpose of having minimum thicknesses in the file is to ensure that the printed output is accurate to the file’s geometry and meets expectations of quality.

3) Meeting minimum thicknesses can be a challenge if the model was not modeled for 3D printing. Especially in architecture, scaling to such a large degree causes many components to surpass the machine limitations.

4) The minimum thickness is also depending on the type of 3D Printer being used. There are high-resolution 3D printers and low-resolution 3D printers.

5) Exceeding the machine’s resolution capabilities may result in lost geometry.

6) As a general guide we use 0.04” as the minimum thickness for walls, beams, pillars, etc. But it is height dependent.

  1. Example: 1/2” tall pillar at model scale would require a minimum thickness of 0.04”. Increasing the thickness, however, to 0.06” or 0.08” would produce a smoother and more accurate pillar. (Since the look of the model is critical to communicating design intent we understand that both thinness and smoothness are very important. In some cases we recommend extruding the geometry to the inside of the model, somewhat hiding the ‘thickening’. The resulting pillar maybe 0.04” (x) and 0.06 (y) and create a smooth and visually accurate model.)
  2. If however, the pillar is 2 inches in height, a thickness of 0.1” may be needed to be accurately produced since it’s much larger it would need more ‘structure’ to keep it strong. In summary when we’re talking about fine, thin geometry, the larger or taller the geometry, the thicker it will likely need to be.
Exporting Guidelines

1) Once you have checked that your file consists of only three-dimensional closed volumes you are ready to export your file.

2) Translate your model to the HOME axis of 0,0,0

3) Scale your file to the final print output size

4) Change the units in your application to either inches or millimeters. When files are transferred between 3D applications the only information that transfers is the unit numbers, not the unit measurement, such as feet, inches, meter, etc. Thus, after you scale, if you change your units to inches then it becomes a breeze to transfer files between 3D applications.

5) Exporting an STL file usually involves the ‘Export’ or ‘Save As’ function. STL is the most common file format for use in 3D printing. Your three-dimensional design will be converted to a three-dimensional triangulated polygon mesh, made up entirely of triangles. STL stands for Stereolithography

6) BIM data, file history, XML data, or any other information associated with the model that was contained in the native application will not be available in STL format. An STL file contains only an X, Y, and Z coordinate for each point that makes up the individual triangles. The points are based on the universal world coordinate system.

7) If your application does not export to STL the next preferred file formats are .3ds and .dwg. This format can be brought into almost any 3D CAD application and exported to STL from there.

8) After you’ve exported your file it is good practice to review the converted STL file in an STL viewer. You can view the STL in many 3D modeling applications but an STL viewer is sometimes easier to see where errors may be located.

Below is a picture of ideal printing for the 2D layers of a print. These are the layers that you can see in the 2D view and they show what is going to be printed on a specific layer.

 

Created by: 3D Systems, NRI 3DLab, Andrew Esquivel Peak Solutions, DMC London; The Bartlett School of Architecture / CADCAM and the Bartlett workshop, University of Penn School of Design, McNeel (Rhino), CADSpan, ZCorporation, and Microsol Resources.

 

If you have any questions or need advice on 3D printing, feel free to reach out to our team at 3dprinting@microsolresources.com.

 

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