The Immersifer is a tool that allows users to upload CAD files and automatically convert them into VR experiences to be distributed onto a smartphone via the cloud. It supports a wide range of file formats as shown below:
Native CAD Support
|Revit||.RVT or export as .FBX|
|Sketchup||.SKP 2014 or export as .FBX|
Neutral CAD Support
|2020 Spaces Fusion||Export as .SKP 2014 or .OBJ|
|Matterport||Export as .OBJ|
|Maya||Export as FBX|
|Rhino||Export as FBX|
|Solidworks||Export as OBJ|
|Tiltbrush||Export as FBX|
Once you’ve created your CAD file, visit app.vCAD.com and login, then click “CAD to VR”. You’ll see the following page.
The next steps are easy… almost too easy…
- Name your Project
- Select your file type (Revit, SketchUp 2014, FBX, FBX-Tiltbrush, or OBJ)
- Browse to your file
- Select your background Sky Sphere.
- Click “Immersify”
Once the conversion to VR is complete, open the vCAD app and click the “HOME ICON”. Your newly converted model will be at the top of the list.After a few minutes the converted CAD file will be delivered to your smartphone and ready to view. For reference, a 10 MB file converts in around 20 minutes and a 300 MB file converts in around 90 minutes.
For step 3, “CAD File”, visit the Learn More page for instructions on preparing your specific CAD file on the Welcome to vCAD video.
For step 4, “Sky Sphere”, there are a few generic backgrounds (Valley, Road, and Dock) as well as a simple color (Black, White, and Blue). Also, there is a Google Street View import option. Copy and Google Street View Link and that image will be your Sky Sphere Background.
CAD to VR guidelines:
The CAD model’s performance is directly related to filesize. There are two main contributors to file size. Geometric detail and Textures. For VR experiences on a smartphone, the number of polygons (Geometric detail) that can be rendered by the processor is the limiting value.
As the Geometric detail of your model increases the phone hardware becomes taxed. If your client has an older phone you may want to ensure you have less than 100 MB of Geometric detail. On the same note, if your model is getting posted to the VR Gallery for the masses then you may want to consider this, as well. If you would like to test your phone the “Highly Detailed” Collection is made of models greater that 100 MB of Geometric detail.
Determining the contributors to the model’s file size (Geometric detail vs Texture):
Determining Geometric detail and Texture file sizes is a straightforward process. In your CAD program, export your model as either a FBX or OBJ. Once it’s complete, browse to the file and get the file size of the FBX or OBJ file and again for the Materials folder. For this test, do not embed your textures into the FBX file, have them export to a separate folder.
The smaller the FBX or OBJ file the faster the frame rates when displayed on a smartphone. If the FBX or OBJ file to be uploaded is more than 300 MB, then it will begin to significantly drop frame rates, even on the newest phones. The export process will also create a materials folder. Up to 1 GB of textures can be uploaded to the Immersifier.
To date, the 300 MB max Geometric detail has not been a limiting value. If you discover that your files are consistently above this threshold then please contact email@example.com.
While there are many applications for Spectator Mode, it was created with two uses in mind. 1) Utilizing VR in a meeting and 2) Hosting a remote discussion.
For meetings, while one user is viewing the model in VR, the view is broadcasted to a PC/MAC internet browser to be displayed onto a projector. This way, everyone in the conference room can see what the one VR user sees.
For remote discussions, the client or team member can view the model on their phone at home and the content creator can be in the office witnessing the experience. The goal is to have each person on the phone discussing what they are seeing in real-time.
Spectator Mode does not require the phone and browser to be in the same room. As long as both devices are connected to the internet, the VR view will be transmitted from the smartphone to the internet browser.
Spectator Mode Guidelines:
Spectator Mode is built on a WebGL platform. Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox each support WebGL. That being said, each supports a different maximum filesize, which leads to the following recommendations:
On a Windows PC, we recommend: Internet Explorer
On a Mac, we recommend: Safari
As a note: This recommendation is for Spectator Mode only. You may upload your CAD files with any browser.